Carlos Sainz Jr felt that Q3 would have been possible in his McLaren had he not had an engine issue in the opening session at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Sainz, who has been in impressive form in recent races, had been tenth fastest in final practice on Saturday morning, but was unable to repeat that performance after having an engine failure on his out-lap in Q1.
The McLaren driver managed to get his car back to the pits, but took no further part in Q1 due to his team unable to diagnose the problem before the session ended.
“Big disappointment today. An issue with the engine during my first attempt in Q1 meant I couldn’t even set a lap-time.” commented Sainz after qualifying.
“We’ll investigate what happened, but I’m obviously disappointed because it cost us a good shot at Q3 today.”
Sainz will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid, and whilst he is confident of fighting his way through the field, he believes it will now be difficult to get any points.
“Another eventful Saturday this season where I’m not able to show our pace is frustrating, but these things happen and the race is tomorrow.
“It won’t be easy to reach the points starting from the back of the grid, but we’ll fight until the chequered flag and hopefully make a good recovery.”
Sainz’s team-mate Lando Norris also failed to make Q3, missing out by just one hundredth of a second, and will start the race from 11th on the grid.
Norris felt that he simply didn’t quite have enough performance from his McLaren to make the top ten, stating that the team are not as strong in Brazil compared to recent weekends.
“Not the best quali as I didn’t make it through to Q3, which obviously we’re always working towards.” added Norris.
“We’ve not been as strong here so far this weekend compared to recent races as the car doesn’t seem to suit this track.
“Plus, the grid is super close. One-hundredth of a second and I would’ve been into Q3, which is a bit frustrating – but it shows small things count.”