Sainz: Missed chance of Monaco pole ‘difficult to accept’
May 23, 2021
Carlos Sainz cast a disappointed figure after Saturday’s qualifying in Monaco, the Ferrari driver rueing a red flag sparked by his Scuderia teammate Charles Leclerc in the dying seconds of Q3 that squandered his chances of pole position.
Along with Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas, Sainz was on a late flyer to try and dispatch Leclerc from pole when the Monegasque hit the barriers at the Swimming Pool, bringing the all-important shootout to a premature end and ensuring his position at the top of the timesheet.
Sainz believed he had the pace to snatch pole for Ferrari, and felt he had missed a big opportunity.
Read also: Leclerc fears losing pole after qualifying crash
“I’m very disappointed to be honest,” said Sainz. “It’s a difficult thing to accept, to digest, it’s not like every day of your life you have the opportunity to put it on pole in Monaco.
“Today I definitely had the pace to do so, but due to the circumstances I didn’t. It’s a very frustrating day for me.”
Sainz said he had speed in hand after his initial run, and was determined to prove it when the red flag put paid to his final effort.
“Run one I lost two to three tenths in the last sector compared to my best lap so I knew a 10.2, 10.1 with the track evolution was there,” he said.
“I had a lot of traffic – Perez into Turn 1 – and I already lost a tenth, but then I was recovering the lap time and knew I had the lap time in the last sector, but it was out of [Turn] 13 I saw the yellow flag and had to abort.
“I have had the pace to put it on pole, so yeah, I’m starting fourth, so not even close to that.
“I went into quali thinking a pole and the win would be possible and now I’m lining up fourth which is very far away from where I think I could have been.”
Sainz was quick to absolve his teammate of any responsibility regarding his missed chance to shine in the Principality.
“I cannot be angry with Charles,” he said. “We are all here at the limit, we are all pushing these cars like you cannot imagine, we are brushing walls in pretty much every single corner. It’s the fastest cars in history, and these things can happen.
“But the circumstances, I’m just very upset with life, or the circumstances right now, that haven’t given me the opportunity when for the first time that I fight for pole in my life, around Monaco, for Ferrari, I didn’t even get the chance to do the lap.”
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