Carlos Sainz Jnr’s dissatisfaction with his Ferrari’s handling continued in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Having been 0.813 seconds off team mate Charles Leclerc’s pole time in Friday’s qualifying session for the grand prix, Sainz was then 0.59s off Leclerc in the ‘Sprint Shootout’ that set the grid for Saturday’s sprint race and suffered a major lock-up at turn 15. He finished that race in fifth, and said afterwards he was in “damage limitation” mode in the car.
He drove a conservative race on Sunday due to his lack confidence in the car. Sainz finished fifth, 24s behind Leclerc, and fell victim to an opportunistic pass by Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso following the Safety Car restart.
“I think, seeing where Fernando finished, he was always going to finish ahead of me today,” Sainz said. “But nothing new, really. The first stint on the medium [compound tyre], I looked like I found a bit of pace back, and then as soon as I put the hard on my struggles of the weekend appeared again and I just had to bring home a P5.”
“I was always very on the limit of crashing or feeling like I was losing the car,” Sainz admitted. “A pretty long race, and mentally stressful after the struggle of the weekend. Brought home the P5.
“I’m sure we will find out why this happened this weekend, and I’m sure in Miami we’ll be back in form.”
A few tweaks to the front wing put the car’s balance “in a better place”, said Sainz, but he rued “a frustrating long weekend” on Sunday evening and was looking ahead to this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix.
“In a way, I find it positive that the next race is coming quickly, because I can get this one behind me very quickly. And on the other hand, obviously, I probably would need a bit more time. But we’ve turned it around in the past within three or four days, and I expect that we will do the same before Miami.”
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