Sainz “angry” at strategy-destroying brake failure
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz conceded his disappointment turned to anger in Bahrain after a tyre-destroying spin in qualifying ruined his strategy options for the race.
Sainz, who had run inside the top five all weekend, will start 15th on the grid and has none of his preferred medium tyres available, notably with one set wrecked due to a brake failure in Q2 that ended his qualifying.
After time to reflect on the ramifications of the spin, the Spanish driver said: “The lack of strategy options and missing that medium tyre that has got me even more angry after the disappointment in quail.
“We managed to go through Q1 with one set, which is normally a good sign, and what hurts now more than the spin is having to start the race 15th without a set of medium tyres, which are completely destroyed from the spin.
“The car is working well, it was a weekend we could have had the upper hand on the Renault, for example, or on other teams. [But this] leaves us with fewer strategy options for Sunday.
“There’s nothing we can do now. I am feeling confident with the car. Sometimes these things happen and you need to turn the page and try again tomorrow. We will give it our best shot.”
Sainz scored his maiden F1 podium in Brazil last year after starting from last on the grid, but despite the impressive race pace of his car he believes will have his work cut out to do the same on Sunday in Bahrain.
“The team has joked already around the fact that in Brazil we started dead last after not even completing one lap in qualifying, so at least everyone is in good spirits and wanting to move forward," added Sainz.
“But I can tell you tomorrow the podium is going to be very difficult and we are going to be fighting more to try to get back into the points more than getting into the top five. It will be a damage-limitation day.”
It was not a good session for McLaren, who are fighting it out with Racing Point and Renault for third place in the constructors' championship, with Sainz’s team-mate Lando Norris managing only ninth on the grid.
A costly mistake left the British driver behind two Renaults and Sergio Perez’s Racing Point on the grid, and he also has a fight on his hands to collect a big points haul on Sunday.
“I made a mistake in turn one that cost me one and a half to two tenths,” said Norris. “That’s pretty frustrating because that would have put me probably behind Perez.
“I don’t think we could have beaten him, but it would have been P6, ahead of both Renaults. There was more potential today. We had the speed but I made one mistake in T1 and it proved costly. One mistake can be three or four positions.”
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