Carlos Sainz has denied that pressure was a contributing factor to the crashes he has experienced during the opening races of the 2022 F1 season.
The Spaniard endured a challenging weekend at the Australian Grand Prix, where he spun out of the event on Lap 3 following a difficult qualifying that put him in P9 on the grid.
Two weeks later, at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Sainz crashed out of qualifying in Q2, though put in a strong recovery drive in Saturday's Sprint to work his way up to fourth.
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto suggested earlier in the proceedings at Imola that Sainz might still be learning to deal with the pressure of driving a car capable of winning.
"I think that's a matter of managing the pressure," Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Maybe [for] the first time in his career, he's got a car which is fast enough to compete for the best positions.
"He simply needs to get used to that, but he will do it very quickly, because I know how smart and how capable he is to manage the pressure."
Sainz does not believe pressure has caused mistakes
Sainz, however, insists that pressure has not been the cause of his errors, and says that he has simply been trying to get adjusted to the car.
"I don't think [the] mistake was [caused by] pressure," Sainz said of his crash in qualifying at Imola.
"I knew I had already done a very good banker lap to go to Q3. I was just trying out there, to try different lines, different balance. I'm still out there trying and hustling with the car to try and find my groove.
"I wasn't actually pushing that much, and I made a mistake that in these [wet] conditions can happen.
"But you asked me, did I feel pressure? No, it was Q2. I was playing around with the car and made a mistake."
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Crashing at Imola was "painful" for Sainz
Despite this, Sainz admits the incident at Imola was tough to process, and that he is still learning how to deal with difficult moments.
"[It was] very painful," he explained.
"I'm not going to hide it, it was a very negative day for me. It's how it goes sometimes in sport, you have bad moments and [it] was definitely a low for me.
"I keep trying to learn from them, and keep trying to make myself stronger from them. The important thing is that we bounced back solidly."
Sainz went on to be eliminated on the first lap of the Grand Prix after a collision with McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo.
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