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Sainz blames 'off feeling' for gap to Leclerc

Sainz was nearly a second slower than teammate Charles Leclerc and struggled to set a lap time competitive enough to challenge for Pole Position in Baku.

Carlos Sainz has blamed an "off feeling" with his car balance for the gap to teammate Charles Leclerc, after he finished nearly a second slower in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Spaniard's best lap time in Q3 was only good enough for fourth on the grid, his best time being 0.813s off Leclerc. He identified his troubles in the first sector as one of the reasons why he was so far off the pace. "[In] sector one I think I was always tending to do mistakes and but honestly, since the very first run of FP1 I was just struggling," he told media, including RacingNews365.com . "It's the same car and same setup as Australia. For some reason I was just feeling off with [car] balance and off with my own driving." Sainz admitted that he was "trailing the whole day" with his problems, which he believes was made worse by only having one set of Softs for a run in Q3. "I was just beginning to struggle quite a bit. In the end, I put myself into even more trouble in Q1 and Q2 by doing mistakes and losing even more confidence with the car. "I was trailing the whole day. I had one set [of tyres] only in Q3 which accelerates the gap, so not happy with today."

Sainz: Starting P4 with how bad the session went is good news

Sainz was almost knocked out in Q1 after he spun at Turn 1 prior to a red flag coming out for Pierre Gasly's crash. His next attempt was good enough for the top ten once the session restarted, but it was another scrappy moment for him in a session where his teammate excelled. The Ferrari driver believes starting from fourth is "good news" but caveats that he will struggle to find more time as the cars are in Parc Ferme due to the Sprint weekend format. "To be starting P4 on Sunday with how bad the session [went], is good news," he added. "Now I will look into tomorrow trying to make some steps with my driving and with my feeling because obviously the car is into Parc Ferme, and if we find something we're not going to be able to change it. "So lets see what awaits for me, I'm going to try and do everything I can with my driving, with my feeling to try and improve it."

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