Carlos Sainz faced qualifying for the 2022 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix with a somewhat bittersweet taste, since after a very competitive Friday he was aware that he had a car that was really capable of fighting for pole position, but at the same time He also knew that he would not be able to start from the front row due to his penalty.
The Spanish driver received a 25-position grid penalty for Sunday’s race at Monza after changing some elements in his power unit and also replacing the gearbox, forcing him to start from the bottom (18th ).
However, the man from Madrid gave it his all in qualifying and fought one on one with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc to take the best time on Saturday in front of the tifosi. Finally, the Monegasque took pole with a 1:20.161 , which was 0.268 seconds faster than the time of a Sainz who finished third at the end of Q3.
As soon as he got out of his car and knowing that tomorrow he will start from the back of the grid despite having set the third fastest time of the day, the #55 was happy with the performance, but regretted not having had a slipstream at the end of the Q3 to take pole on his “lap to the limit” at the end of qualifying.
“It was a good qualifying, although I struggled to find a slipstream at the end. I slowed down a bit before the start of the lap to see if Lando [Norris] could pass me, but he was smart and he didn’t, which is It’s a shame, because I had to complete my lap of 1:20.4 without a slipstream and that costs a lot of time here”.
“It was a lap to the limit, everything I lost on the straights I had to recover in the corners and even so I improved my first lap of Q3 by a lot, which means that I pushed a lot in the corners, a pity not having had a slipstream to fight for pole”, he added.
After several weekends in which Ferrari was not as competitive as expected, Sainz assured that the car seems to have taken some steps forward in Monza, although he prefers not to get wet with the performance they will have in the race, the main weak point of the current F1 -75.
“Since we went out on track in Free Practice 1, the car had much more balance, the work of the last few weeks has been noticeable. We have worked a lot in Maranello to see how we could do better.”
“But that doesn’t mean that tomorrow we are going to be much more competitive, but hey, at least today we are on pole and in third place on a circuit where we didn’t expect that,” said the Spanish Ferrari driver .
With Charles Leclerc starting in first position and without his closest rivals close by due to penalties, Sainz acknowledged that the Maranello team’s chances of securing a home win are very high.
“It’s an incredible opportunity, he starts from pole with Max [Verstappen] out of position, with me too, and I’m also going fast, so let’s see if he can finish it off tomorrow. I hope so. Today we’ve also done everything we’ve done able to be both cars up and hopefully tomorrow will be a good day for Ferrari”, said the Madrilenian to the DAZN F1 microphones to conclude.