Carlos Sainz could not be satisfied with his performance at the Baku Grand Prix after only finishing the race in P8.
The Spaniard started from P5 and lost contact with Sergio Perez right on the first lap and dropped back to sixth place. At the end of lap 10, Sainz came into the pits and blocked his hard tires on the way out of turn 8 and slid straight into the runoff zone. This mistake dropped him from 11th to 15th place and he had to rebuild his race as a result.
In the end, he made it to P8, while his teammate Charles Leclerc was fourth.
“At the moment I’m very angry with myself and with the fact that once again I didn’t manage to put a whole weekend together and suffered a lot with the tires… Both at the Safety Car restart and the second start I was struggling to feel the front tire. I was front locking a lot and it cost me a few positions today.”
“Basically, when I left the pits on the hard, I was suddenly surprised by the lack of grip. We actually ran the hard in FP1… and the warm-up, probably because the track was a lot hotter, wasn’t as much of an issue. But when I left the pits on the hard, I was a bit all over the place, and I was struggling a lot with front locking,” he said when asked what exactly happened in turn 8.
“Into Turn 8 I misjudged the grip I had and probably lost a bit the concentration thinking about other things and just braked a tiny bit too late, too hard, which I meant I locked up two front tires and I decided to take the escape road rather than crashing.”
“I think I lost around 20, 25 seconds of race time, flat spotted my two front tires and obviously I was really, really angry. The recovery from there with the front tires a bit flat spotted was good; I had the pace I was expecting to have, and it was good.”
“But as I said, I locked the fronts at Turn 2 in both of the starts and then I locked the fronts at Turn 8 with the hard tires, so it’s definitely a weakness that I need to address, part of my patience with the car and trying to make me feel a bit more comfortable in these front tire conditions, see how I can get better at it and see how I can mitigate it.”
Despite all the negative remarks, he also had positive words about the race weekend.
“Obviously, the pace hasn’t been an issue. The pace has been strong all weekend and the race pace, although it was a little behind the Mercedes and the Red Bull, it was still strong. So, I still take the positives, that the pace itself in the car is very good.”
“But I need to improve… with the cold feeling in the tire, with the front locking and that will help me to put a full weekend together. And I’m sure for the next race, once we analyze that, I will come back stronger and more confident.”