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Formula 1

Confused Sainz ‘wasn’t pushing hard’ in Imola qualifying crash

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz was confused by his costly crash in Formula 1 qualifying at Imola as he says he “wasn’t pushing really that hard at all”.

Sainz shunted early in the second part of qualifying while the field was rushing to set laptimes in dry conditions with rain predicted to fall imminently.

He had completed his first lap and was at the end of his second timed lap when he lost the rear through the second part of Rivazza and crashed into the wall.

Sainz was in contention for pole but instead “made a mistake that’s going to cost me a lot going into the weekend” – the second costly error in two events after spinning out of the Australian Grand Prix on the second lap of the race two weeks ago.

He said: “It’s frustrating, the target was to put a banker lap in knowing the rain would come.

“I wasn’t pushing really that hard at all. The car surprised me in that corner.

“It’s clear the track conditions are very tough.”

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Qualifying Day Imola, Italy

Sainz told Sky Sports F1 in a separate interview that it was a mistake he was “not expecting at all”.

“It was not a lap that was properly on the limit at all,” Sainz said.

“Unfortunately, I lost it. I had no warning. I don’t think I was exposing myself to a mistake.”

The session was red-flagged and the predicted rain came during the session’s suspension, which meant nobody was able to improve when it resumed.

That at least meant Sainz progressed to Q3 and while he did not run in the session he will start 10th for the sprint race.

But he still expressed “big apologies” to his Ferrari team.

“It hurts because it should have been easy through to Q3,” said Sainz, who already trails team-mate and championship leader Charles Leclerc in the championship by 38 points.

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