After a pole position that he failed to convert into victory at the last United States Grand Prix due to an accident caused by George Russell that left him out of action in the first corner of the first lap, the Spanish Ferrari driver was really looking forward to to forget sensations and regain confidence in Mexico.
Although the free practices had not been very positive for those from Maranello, since both Mercedes and Red Bull had been faster almost constantly, Carlos Sainz was fully confident in his chances for qualifying in Mexican territory.
In Q1 of the Mexican Grand Prix, the native of Madrid was in no hurry and advanced from the round with a fifth position less than four tenths of the best time, while in Q2 he finished second with a time that was only 0.008s slower than Lewis Hamilton’s time.
In the last qualifying round, Sainz set the fourth fastest time in his first attempt, behind the Red Bull and George Russell, but in the last and final lap he lost a position despite improving his time, finishing fifth, behind the two Red Bull and both Mercedes.
As soon as he got out of his Ferrari F1-75, the driver from Madrid shared his feelings and despite the fact that he was visibly disappointed, he acknowledged that he did not expect much more from what he had seen.
“It has been very complicated for us, since Free Practice 3 we have already seen that in this circuit we have had to compromise a lot with the car and that we are not going fast , especially with the light gasoline car, it does not behave as well as normal ” .
“But we know why we are behind and nothing, it is a very special circuit, with a very particular altitude and we know what is happening.”
With his 1:18.351, Sainz has stayed 0.576s from Max Verstappen’s pole position, a time that not even with the best possible lap would they have been able to achieve at Ferrari, says the Spaniard.
“Making a perfect lap has been practically impossible, because the car was really difficult , I think you could see it with both Charles [Leclerc] and me, we were the two that were making the most mistakes, but because it was really difficult to drive”.
“If I could have done the perfect lap 1.18.0 I would have started today and we could have been there with the Mercedes, but when the car is so unpredictable doing a perfect lap on a circuit like this is impossible. I had three tenths that I could have taken , but it was complicated, and I shouldn’t have gone too badly to set the times I’ve done”, concluded Carlos Sainz.