Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Imola, 2021

Sainz sure he can match Leclerc despite being “all over the place” in qualifying

2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr failed to reach the final segment of qualifying for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, but believes he had the pace to match team mate Charles Leclerc, who took fourth on the grid.

Leclerc was slower than Sainz in Q1, but then had an advantage of almost four tenths of a second in Q2 that put him in third place. Sainz narrowly missed out on progressing to the top 10 shoot-out by 0.061 seconds in 11th place.

Sainz said he’s been able to match Leclerc through individual corners, but wasn’t able to put his best together over a single lap.

“It is tight, but I know where those three tenths are,” he said. “I’m obviously disappointed to miss out on it because I just didn’t put, during the whole qualifying, a good lap together.”

“I was a bit all over the place,” Sainz reflected. “I couldn’t really put the sectors together, the corners together. I am fast in each corner, but just to put them all together in the same lap is what I’m struggling at the moment.

“It’s a high-confidence track, a track where you need to have the car underneath you. And probably it exposed a bit more that I still need a bit of mileage and a bit of time to put those laps together that I used to do in the McLaren.”

Sainz reached Q3 on his Ferrari debut in last month’s Bahrain Grand Prix, qualifying eighth and finishing there, behind Leclerc. Despite this setback, Sainz is certain he will produce better performances soon.

“It will come,” he said on Saturday. “I am obviously disappointed and not happy with P11.

“But at the same time, when I look at the data, I know that I can do it. It’s just a matter of putting it together. And today was not a good day in that regard.”

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2021 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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One comment on “Sainz sure he can match Leclerc despite being “all over the place” in qualifying”

  1. As Sainz mentions, the trick with a track like this is to have the confidence and manage to hook as many of the well executed bits into one lap.

    Makes sense that he is still learning and has to get that feel of the car. Just like Alonso, Perez, well and the rookies, and probably Daniel Ricciardo are .

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