McLaren’s Carlos Sainz left himself with one lap to make it into Q2 at the Belgian GP, and the late red flags for Antonio Giovinazzi cost him.
The Alfa Romeo man brought out the red flags with under a minute to go in Q1 when his engine went up in smoke, as did Sainz’s Q2 chances.
His first Q1 lap was set on old tyres with reduced engine modes, leaving Sainz in the elimination zone, but the session was stopped when Sainz had set off on his last flying lap, leaving not enough time to restart the session and so confirming the Spaniard’s elimination.
“It was exaggerated, the bad luck, in the first run we didn’t have the quali mode,” Sainz told reporters in Spa. “We weren’t on new tyres, so it was always going to be a poor lap, that first run.
“So we were waiting for the second run to be better, but there was the red flag. It was strange with the amount of failures out there.
“Not the first time that I’ve been caught out this year with these kind of issues. But we need to just take it on the chin. It has happened on a weekend where we are not particularly quick.”
Another red flag brings Q1 to an early end, interrupting both Carlos and Lando's timed laps. 🚩
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) August 31, 2019
McLaren haven’t hit their heights of this season at any point during this race weekend, but Sainz had hoped that they were going to follow the usual trend of finding that extra something in qualifying.
“It hasn’t been looking great but it has happened to us this season that somehow in qualifying we manage to revert,” he explained.
“Hockenheim is a really good example, Australia we were not looking great and then in qualifying the car was working really well.
“So we were hoping that in this session, we were hoping that we could show a little more, I think we had a little more in the pocket. It’s just a shame we couldn’t do it.”