SportF1Sainz was surprised by his lack of calm in...

Sainz was surprised by his lack of calm in the face of Australia's problems

Sainz led FP1 of the Australian GP and, in the following practice sessions and the first part of qualifying (he was the first Ferrari in Q2), he seemed capable of matching the pace of his teammate Charles Leclerc, who took pole and he won by leading each and every one of the laps, also setting the fastest lap.

For Carlos Sainz, things started to go wrong in Q3 on Saturday. Leclerc had just taken the lead in the final session when the session was stopped after Fernando Alonso’s accident, seconds before Sainz could cross the finish line and set time.

When the session resumed, an ignition problem in Sainz’s car meant that he came out of the pits too late to complete the extra warm-up lap he needed on Melbourne’s new tarmac, causing him to make a mistake at the end of his final lap and qualify ninth.

Then on Sunday, before the start of the race, a problem with the switch meant that Ferrari had to change Sainz’s steering wheel, and the replacement was not set to the correct torque map, causing him to drop five positions in the race. first lap after his car went into anti-lock mode at the start.

He then retired on lap two after trying to make up ground and going wide while attacking Haas driver Mick Schumacher.

Speaking about his disaster in Melbourne ahead of this weekend’s race at Imola, Sainz attributed his retirement to a “mistake” because of the “frustration” that built up from his various problems, which he said he was unable to react as expected. custom.

“One of my strengths as a driver is to stay calm in these kinds of situations,” he said.

“This time I lacked that calm to react appropriately to the inconveniences that came to me at that time.”

“And it wasn’t a great weekend because a lot of things happened, a lot of external factors happened, but at the same time I didn’t have the best reaction.

“At some point it had to happen, I’ve finished I don’t know how many races in a row in the points [17]. I don’t know how many races in a row I’ve been finishing without making any big mistakes.”

“At some point the mistake had to come. And it happened, and I’m sure I’ll learn from it, like I did earlier in my career, when it just made me stronger.”

“So it was a character-building weekend.”

Marshals assist Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75, after a beaching in a gravel trap

Sainz explained that this misplaced reaction (as he defined it) was due to the fact that “there was an extra frustration” due to the red flag and the ignition problems, which did not allow him to achieve a good result in qualifying and get closer to a Leclerc who has two poles out of three and who has a 3-0 win against the man from Madrid in qualifying.

He explained it this way: “It was difficult to react well after feeling that you were in the fight for pole position and that I was driving well all weekend, I led a practice session and I felt that I was driving very well.”

“All of a sudden, external issues started coming in and maybe creating a little bit of frustration.”

“It’s like ‘maybe it’s better to think about next weekend’, but I said ‘no, I don’t want to wait another weekend and I want to go for it’. And so it was. It’s the beauty of the sport.”

But Sainz said that, after “analyzing it at home”, he had come to the conclusion that the weekend in Australia was “a good reminder to keep doing what you were doing before” to get back to the form that had allowed him to score. points for 17 consecutive races and accumulate three podiums in a row.

“It’s very much about the psychology side and how to manage emotions and feelings,” he explained.

“It’s something that I think is one of my strengths and I don’t want to lose it at all. And I think it will continue to be one of my strengths.”

“But I think from time to time in the career of an athlete or a racing driver you need reminders, to keep doing the things that you were doing before and that allowed you to stay calm.”

“There is always going to be a tough weekend or a tough race in a driver’s life.”

“The strange thing is how little was happening to me before that: I was on a very strong streak with hardly any mistakes and at some point it had to come.”

“It can also be triggered by external factors, but I want to continue learning from them.”

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