Carlos Sainz Jr admitted he was disappointed after being forced to retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix after heading into the event with one eye on a good points haul.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver was the highest starter to not start the race on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre, and had made a good start to the Grand Prix only to suffer a puncture after a clash with the Sahara Force India of Sergio Perez at turn one on lap two, and was compromised thereafter with damage on his STR11.
A lap down and out of contention, Sainz remained on track until just after half distance before pulling into the pits to retire, but the Spaniard is already focused on coming back strong in two weeks time in China.
“What a shame to have had to retire,” said Sainz. “It was looking like a race where we could’ve certainly scored points, and it all just ended in a first-lap accident.
“We had a very good start to the race – obviously everyone in front of us was on the Super Soft tyre while we started on Softs, but we still managed to gain a few places, so that was good.
“We were fighting and I was defending from a McLaren and Checo Perez, who suddenly arrived from behind and hit me, causing a puncture. From that point onwards my race was completely lost, as I was a lap down after my first pit-stop.
“Now we just need to put this behind us and look forward to the next race in China in two weeks’ time, where we will come back stronger – we know that we have a good car and we can be fast.”