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Carlos Sainz

Sainz confused by 'strange' Mexico qualifying session

Carlos Sainz narrowly missed out on pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix, with team-mate Charles Leclerc prevailing in the session. But as Sainz explains, it was far from a normal session behind the wheel.

Sainz Mexico
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Carlos Sainz has revealed that he found the behaviour of his Ferrari "strange" during qualifying for the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Sainz ended the session in second place behind team-mate Charles Leclerc who secured Ferrari's sixth pole position of the season.

The Italian squad took its second consecutive F1 pole position after prevailing in the United States one week ago and managed to best World Champion Max Verstappen to a front-row lockout.

Reflecting on his outing, Sainz said the only time he felt comfortable behind the wheel was during his first lap in Q3.

“It was a very strange one,” he said. “The whole weekend I've struggled to put a lap together and the first lap that I put together was Q3, run one.

“Suddenly it was P1, Charles then beat me by one-tenth.”

The Spaniard has revealed confusion over why his pace fell away during his second run as he failed to improve his lap time.

“I just struggled to understand where suddenly we can find half a second and then go half a second slower in the next lap.

“It’s very tricky with the tyres the feeling with the car is very strange around the circuit but we managed to put a good lap when it counted and it puts us in a good position for tomorrow.”

Sainz coy over win chances

Despite some strong one lap pace, Sainz confessed he is less confident over Ferrari's potential across the Grand Prix distance in Mexico.

“Clearly, we are not as strong in high fuel as we are in low fuel,” he said. “I think our car benefits a lot from that new tyre.

“We're going to see how we can do tomorrow to get those tyres alive, to keep that Red Bull behind because having two cars in front, it’s a good advantage.

“We’re going to try our best.”

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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