Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Monaco, 2023

Sainz confident “very small crash” won’t put him off his stride

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr is confident he will rebound quickly from the crash which brought his running to an early end on Friday.

The Ferrari driver headed the times in the opening hour of practice at the Monte Carlo circuit. He fell to third in the later session, a tenth of a second off pace-setter Max Verstappen, and crashed with around a quarter of an hour left to run.

He made contact with the barrier on the inside of turn 15 as he rounded the swimming pool section, breaking his front-right suspension and sending him into the wall at the next corner. Sainz brushed off the setback, calling it “a very small crash, to be honest.”

“I just clipped the wall on the inside,” he explained. “Typical Monaco, a miscalculation and a shame because I just gave the mechanics some extra time today.

“But in terms of confidence and in terms of lap time, I’ve been on it the whole day and just a small miscalculation in one corner is not going to affect it.”

Sainz believes Ferrari can be contenders for pole position in Monaco, where they locked out the front row of grid last year. “I think we’re on the right track to at least challenging for it,” he said.

“The Red Bull is still quick. They’re still leading after today. But we’ve been closer than any other weekend and we hope that we can at least give them a run for their money. But I think it’s still going to be tricky.”

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His team mate Charles Leclerc was even closer to Verstappen in second practice, the pair separated by just 0.065 seconds. He said his car wasn’t entirely to his liking at times on Friday and is seeking improvements in its balance.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Monaco, 2023
Gallery: Monaco Grand Prix practice in pictures
“We are okay but Aston Martin and Red Bull seems to be a very quick as well,” said Leclerc. “So we still need to do a step forward.

“The feeling with the car wasn’t too bad in FP1, a bit difficult, in FP2 a little bit better, but there were some things that weren’t as expected on my car. So we’ll work during the night to try and and have the car exactly as I want tomorrow.”

“I don’t think we have the best car, again,” he added. “Red Bull is faster, Aston Martin is thereabouts. But if we do a great job and if I put everything in my lap, then everything is possible.”

Leclerc crashed twice during the last race weekend in Miami and also hit a barrier during sprint race qualifying in Azerbaijan. However he said he’s prepared to “give it all” tomorrow.

“Qualifying is everything here. Again there’s lots of talks about my last race, but at the end qualifying has always been one of my strengths. So I’m not too worried and I will go for it and let’s see what happens.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    4 comments on “Sainz confident “very small crash” won’t put him off his stride”

    1. He has been a disappointment really up to this point. I thought he would be a match for Leclerc since he beat Verstappen in a season and his 2019 performance.

      1. I never thought he’d be a match for leclerc in performance, and also I don’t think he beat verstappen, I think verstappen was better in most metrics the season they had together, and verstappen had a steeper improving curve as well.

        1. Max was a child when they were teammates, and it was close enough that Sainz really doesn’t have that much to be proud of even if he gets the slight edge

          Carlos isn’t a top tier driver, and I think that he would be better and more consistent if he drove like a good tier two driver (which he is). He’d make fewer mistakes and drive more freely. On raw pace, he will never be on Lelerc’s or Verstappen’s level.

    2. The crash brothers strike again…quite literally.

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