Facing a back-of-the-grid start due to engine penalties, Carlos Sainz admits he was “a bit rude” to McLaren in Austria but apologised prior to the start of Sunday’s race.
Taking on a new Renault engine at the Red Bull Ring, Sainz was well aware of the fact that he would be starting the Austrian Grand Prix from the back row of the grid.
It didn’t help his mood.
He ventured out in qualifying, putting in a lap that was good enough to see him through to Q2, ninth quickest in Q1, but once the second segment began he didn’t even try for a hot lap. It would have been pointless.
“I was very depressed,” the Spaniard explained to Autosport.
“I don’t know why I had a really bad day. I was in a bad mood the whole day.
“At some point I think I was even a bit rude and I apologised to everyone because I think I had one of those painful days that you cannot wait to finish.
“I didn’t even use qualy mode, so I didn’t even get to feel the power of the new engine.
“On Sunday I was a new man.
“Still I didn’t expect to finish where I finished and have the pace I had.”
Sainz lined up P19 on the Red Bull Ring grid and put in an incredible drive to finish eighth at the chequered flag despite running with a broken front wring.
He added: “I’m a bit surprised because we had some serious pace.
“Right from the start I managed the tyres instead of overtaking at the beginning as I wanted to create a bit of tyre delta for the last stint as my race was was going to get better and better with our tyre degradation.
“In the second stint I was very, very fast. I did the fastest lap at some point, and from there on I passed one car every lap in the midfield and then suddenly I saw myself behind Gasly and Lando, catching them half a second a lap.
“But just when I was about to enter the three-second mark with Gasly the front wing broke. I don’t know how, I think it was with one of these strange kerbs and I lost a lot of the aero balance.
“I lost the whole flap and had to nurse the eighth place home, which I nearly lost to Raikkonen, but the pace was still there.”