Sainz ‘lost feeling and rhythm’ after F1 qualifying engine problem | F1


Sainz’s Ferrari briefly lost power after the red flag stopped in Q1, but the issue resolved itself allowing the Spaniard to make his way safely through the first two stages of qualification.

He qualified sixth, two places ahead of his teammate Charles Leclerc.

Sainz described qualifying in Mexico as “too stressful” and “very complicated”.

“Yeah, it’s been too stressful for my taste,” Sainz said. “It was a very, very complicated session. I lost the feel with the car in Q1, I also lost the feel with the medium tires, the car was a bit tricky so in fact I never really did a clean lap until Q3, running of them.

“Even the lap, because I was so out of rhythm in the previous laps, I didn’t feel particularly special compared to the FP3 or FP2 laps where I had a much better feeling.

“When I finished the round I thought I was going to be P10 / P9 and suddenly they told me I was P6 and I was a little happier. We expected this session to be a little easier than it was.

Sainz admitted he expected to beat Pierre Gasly in fifth place on the grid despite the AlphaTauri rider benefiting from a tow from teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

“Well, they played with trailers that are a few tenths down here and they’ve been in our pace all weekend,” Sainz added. “If you add two-tenths of the tow, then normally they’re two or three-tenths ahead.

“Other than that, honestly, I expected to be in the lead because in FP3 I was flying, I was really comfortable with the car and in qualifying I wasn’t. Something to analyze there and something to keep looking.

Leclerc could only manage eighth place on the grid and he was disappointed with his own performance throughout the weekend.

“I am disappointed in myself today,” he said. “It was a very difficult weekend for me. FP1, FP2 and FP3 I struggled but during qualifying I could see the light at the end of the tunnel with the car getting where I wanted it to be and we were very competitive.

“When I needed to go around in Q3, I didn’t because of mistakes on my part. It’s like that.”

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