An exciting Saturday qualifying session came to an abrupt and devastating end for Carlos Sainz leaving him in 15th position on tomorrow’s starting grid.
Sainz was battling hard amongst the mid-field in Q2 until the rear end of his Ferrari lost control and sent him sliding into the barrier of Turn 14.
The heavy collision was speculated to be wind-induced, and with the combination of a 50-degree track temperature, this theory seems likely.
The Spaniard explained that he didn’t understand what he did wrong but upon reflection, came up with a few possibilities.
“What I did differently if anything, I went into the last corner slower than in the previous lap because I felt like the tyres and wind were a bit different,” Sainz explained in an interview with Sky Sports.
“I, with the engineers, had a good check and found out that instead of a 10 Kph tailwind, I had a 35kph gust [and] this probably made me lose the rear.”
“I’m not used to making these sorts of mistakes, so it hurts quite a lot to do them. I apologise to the team… it’s part of the learning process.”
After Sainz finishing FP3 with a lap time of 1m17.497s, 0.020s of a second ahead of his teammate, Charles Leclerc, his chances for a strong qualifying were looking likely.
Leclerc jumped up to second place in Q2. Sainz followed on a very similar lap of his own until it was cut short, along with his chances of starting up in the upper end of the grid in tomorrow’s race.
Sainz believes the Hungaroring is the “worst track to have this sort of issue” so it looks as if the Ferrari driver has a challenge on his hands.
Despite this declaration, Sainz appeared willingly to take it on the chin and come back fighting.
Sainz’s dispirit was shared with his teammate Leclerc as he told Sky Sports he “expected more today” despite qualifying seventh.
“It’s a shame for Carlos [Sainz]. We both would have been in the top-10 today for sure.”
Sainz suffered no injuries from the collision but walked away with a heavy heart.
Disappointment aside, the Ferrari engineers will be working around the clock tonight to get Sainz’s car fit for climbing up the order in tomorrow’s Grand Prix.
As for Sainz and Leclerc, the race itself provides the remaining opportunity to turn the weekend around for Ferrari and bring in a double-points finish.