Carlos Sainz was looking good for a strong qualifying session in Hungary after finishing the opening Q1 segment in P4. But in the end the Spaniard’s potential went unrealised as he crashed out on his first run in Q2, with the Ferrari driver later admitting the “hurt” of being eliminated in P15 – particularly in such puzzling circumstances.
Sainz was about to finish his opening run in the second segment of qualifying when his car snapped sideways at the final corner, sending him into the barriers. As the red flags flew, Sainz tried to return his damaged car to the pits, before giving up once his front wing became trapped underneath the red machine.
Asked afterwards if it hurt to be eliminated early, Sainz said: “It does, it does. Q1 I was so strong and I was feeling good with the car, so to have this kind of issue in Q2 in the first run, with the quali still to play for, hurts.”
The three-time podium finisher then explained that he’d been at a loss at what had happened.
“I was very puzzled because I really didn’t understand what happened. I went to see my engineers to try to see what I could have done differently. We see I entered the corner slower than in Q1, and even like that with 35km/h gust of tail wind I just lose the car.
“It got gustier, it got windier, so I’m not going to use it as an excuse, I should have maybe adapted a bit myself,” Sainz continued. “But when you go into a corner slower than the previous one and you still lose the rear, it’s unfortunate. It hurts because I’m not used to doing this kind of mistake – but I have to take it on the chin, apologise to the team and go again tomorrow.”
2021 Hungarian GP Qualifying: Sainz impedes Tsunoda at pit lane exit
Sainz, who has now been eliminated in Q2 in three of the last four races, now faces an uphill battle to pick up a fourth successive points finish from what is his worst ever Hungarian Grand Prix grid slot.
So how does he fancy his chances?
“Q1 felt really good. Yesterday we weren’t particularly that good on the long run, but we know for Sunday we always have a bit in the tank. It’s the worse possible track to have this kind of issue, because overtaking is going to be very tough, but at the same time I’m going to try to recover from this and try and score some points tomorrow.”
Earlier in the session Sainz had complained to his team after being released onto the track in front of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda. The Japanese driver is set to start right behind the Ferrari on the grid on Sunday.
Carlos Sainz: ‘It hurts’ after mistake that caused a Q2 shunt