Carlos Sainz Jr. admitted Qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix was ‘very disappointing’ after a braking issue caused him to spin to a stop and cause a red flag early on in Q2.
The McLaren F1 Team racer felt he was on course for a top ten starting position at the Bahrain International Circuit after having good pace throughout the weekend, but the issue as he braked into turn one left him stranded on track and only fifteenth on the grid. He was further frustrated after saving two sets of the soft compound tyres to use in Q3.
Sainz says choosing the best strategy will be key to making up places and fighting for a place inside the top ten on Sunday, with the Spaniard insisting he will not give up until the chequered flag.
“Very disappointing day today,” said Sainz. “I was feeling comfortable with the car and managed to go through Q1 with only one set of tyres, saving two new sets of Softs for Q3.
“We obviously hit an issue at the start of Q2, which locked up the rear axle and that was it. It’s very frustrating that I couldn’t qualify higher despite having strong pace.
“We start on the back foot for tomorrow, so we need to decide carefully which is the best strategy, taking into account that the top-10 qualified on the Mediums. Tough one, but we won’t give up and I’ll give it my all in the race to recover as many positions as possible.”
“It was quite a messy qualifying but the same for everyone” – Lando Norris
Team-mate Lando Norris did make it into the top ten shootout, with the Briton set to start ninth on the grid on Sunday.
A small mistake at turn one on his final flying lap in Q3 lost him time, with Norris feeling that his slight error cost him the chance to qualify higher up the grid, particularly as he was less than three-tenths of a second from fourth placed Alexander Albon.
“A tough quali today, because of the tyre differences and the red flag,” said Norris. “So, it was quite a messy qualifying but the same for everyone.
“We did a good job with the tyres and getting the car turned around quickly. We had a slight issue with the car in the first run of Q1, but other than that my only bad run was on the very final set where I made a mistake at Turn One.
“It cost me probably a tenth which was a good few positions today, so I’m quite frustrated and annoyed – but I’ll try to make up for it tomorrow.”