For the second year running in Monaco, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz believes an early end to Q3 cost him a shot at pole position.
Sainz is still waiting to find that spark to ignite his 2022 season at Ferrari, but pole for the Monaco Grand Prix would have been a perfect solution.
The Spaniard had certainly been in the mix throughout all sessions in the run-up to Q3, but after the first push laps in that session Sainz, along with both Red Bulls, had at least a couple of tenths of a second to find if they were to deny Charles Leclerc on home soil.
But just as happened at this venue last season, a crash brought Q3 to an early end, confirming Leclerc on pole. This time though, it was not the Monegasque himself involved in the crash.
Instead, Perez spun into the barrier at Portier and, unable to react in time, Sainz clattered the stricken Red Bull as he came around the bend.
🔴 RED FLAG🔴
Sergio Perez spins out at Portier, Carlos Sainz crashes into him on his way through and that's the end of qualifying.
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) May 28, 2022
“Perez crashed in front of me and I was on my flying lap,” said Sainz of the incident, talking to Sky Sports F1.
“I saw that yellow flag just coming into Turn 8. I had to hit the brakes and obviously try to avoid him the best I could. But it’s a shame, another year a red flag causes the end of our session that we cannot go for pole position.
“But it’s typical Monaco.”
Asked if he felt pole had been possible, Sainz replied: “I think so, yeah. We’ve had really good pace on all days.
“I was just building it up for qualy. We will never know, so it’s impossible to say, but I was feeling good with the car today.”
Sainz will, though, start P2 barring any grid penalties, so at the track where last season he scored his first Ferrari podium Sainz feels well positioned to secure a “great result”.
“Let’s try and finish the job tomorrow,” he said. “I think we are in a great position to score a great result for the team.
“The car has been amazing all weekend, so we’ll go for it.”
Monaco may though be set to move the goalposts for the drivers on Sunday.
Friday and Saturday has seen dry and rather warm conditions, but for race day the temperatures are set to drop and the threat of rain lingers.
But whether the track is dry or wet for the race does not concern Sainz.
“I don’t mind,” he confirmed.
The beauty of qualifying at Monaco
Qualifying at Monaco is so special.