Mystified Sainz had ‘no warning’ before Q2 crash

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz in the garage. Imola April 2022.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz looks out into his garage. Imola April 2022.

Carlos Sainz said his spin out of qualifying at Imola was something he was “not expecting at all” given how he was driving at the time.

The Ferrari driver went off track after losing the rear of his car heading into the final left-hander at Imola, Rivazza 2, as he wound up for a flying lap – explaining he “wasn’t pushing” into the corner but he spun and skidded into the barrier nevertheless during Q2.

His accident brought out the second of five red flags during a heavily truncated qualifying session for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, but given the lap time he had already set by that point it was good enough for him to start P10 heading into Saturday’s sprint qualifying race.

The Spaniard admitted he had “made a mistake that will cost me a lot going into the weekend” in tricky changing conditions throughout qualifying, with the weather moving from wet to dry on several different occasions throughout Friday.

The 27-year-old spoke of his annoyance at being eliminated early.

“It’s frustrating. The target was to put a banker lap in knowing the rain would come,” Sainz told reporters afterwards.

“I wasn’t pushing really that hard at all. The car surprised me in that corner. It’s clear the track conditions are very tough.”

His error has left him further back than he had anticipated on the grid, having been close to team-mate Charles Leclerc’s pace during practice and in qualifying up to that point.

World Championship leader Leclerc will line up P2 in the sprint behind Max Verstappen, and Sainz said his spin had come out of the blue.

“It was not a lap that was properly on the limit at all,” he added to Sky Sports F1. “Unfortunately, I lost it. I had no warning. I don’t think I was exposing myself to a mistake.


“It hurts because it should have been easy through to Q3.”

He spoke ruefully after having to drop out of qualifying and said he offered “big apologies” to his Ferrari team in the garage after getting back, although he will have the chance to make up some of the shortfall by looking to make his way through the field in Saturday’s sprint, to line up closer to the front in Sunday’s grand prix.


Ferrari confirm Sainz for a further two years

Ferrari and Carlos Sainz have agreed to a two-year contract extension.