Carlos Sainz Jr. missed out on an appearance in Q3 for the United States Grand Prix by just 0.002 seconds to team-mate Nico Hülkenberg, with the Spaniard blaming himself for accidentally pressing a button on his steering wheel for losing the time that cost him his place in the top ten.
The Renault Sport Formula One Team racer felt accidentally pressing the button on his steering wheel cost him around two-tenths of a second at the final corner of the Circuit of the Americas, but he was still encouraged by the improved pace of the R.S.18 this weekend.
Sainz, who only has four races of his Renault career remaining before he makes the switch to the McLaren F1 Team in 2019, is positive that he can break into the points on Sunday, particularly as the track offers opportunities to overtake.
“Today was encouraging and it’s good news to see we are in the mix again,” said Sainz, who will be the first driver on the grid with a free choice of starting tyre. “Unfortunately, I was two thousandths shy from Q3.
“I accidentally pressed a modifier button on the steering wheel and lost two tenths in the last corner. It’s frustrating because that means Q3 was actually within reach.
“Points are awarded tomorrow, however, so I remain positive. It’s usually a great race here as you can follow cars and you can overtake, so there’s potential for a very interesting day tomorrow.”