Formula 1

Carlos Sainz Jr.: “A tough day for the team in a tricky qualifying”

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Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre

Carlos Sainz Jr. admitted it was a tough Qualifying session for the São Paulo Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari, with the Spaniard ending the day only fifth on the grid for Saturday’s Sprint race.

Sainz, who will take a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s main race at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace following a pre-race engine change, was able to get through to the top ten shootout on Friday but was unable to maximise his one run in Q3.

He hopes to make gains on Saturday afternoon to minimise his pain with the penalty, with Sainz also taking time to congratulate Kevin Magnussen and the Haas F1 Team for taking their first ever pole position.

“A tough day for the team in a tricky qualifying,” said Sainz. “We had one shot in Q3 with the Softs before the rain arrived and we will be starting from P5 tomorrow.

“We will try to use the sprint race to gain some positions before serving the penalty on Sunday. Congratulations to Kevin and the entire Haas team for their first pole position.”

“A disappointing outcome given that the pace was there” – Charles Leclerc

Team-mate Charles Leclerc will start tenth after failing to set a lap time in Q3, the team, for some reason, putting him onto intermediate tyres when the track was still dry.

Had the forecasted rain arrived a few minutes earlier, it could have been an inspired decision from the pit wall, but with the other nine drivers all getting a chance to set a time on dry tyres, Leclerc was left high and dry.

He did pit for slicks, but George Russell’s session-stopping spin ended his chance of qualifying nearer the front of the grid as, before the session could resume, the rain came, and he remained in the pits as it would have been impossible to improve his position.

“A disappointing outcome given that the pace was there,” said Leclerc. “We still have a good car, so now we need to get on it and push to make up positions tomorrow in the Sprint.”

Charles Leclerc gambled on intermediates in Q3 but the plan backfired on Ferrari – Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Media Centre
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