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Carlos Sainz

Sainz perplexed by Bahrain Q3 pace

Carlos Sainz was hopeful of fighting futher up the grid order on Friday in Bahrain but is now set to start Saturday's Grand Prix from fourth on the grid.

Sainz Bahrain 2024
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Carlos Sainz has conceded to being confused over a lack of pace in Q3 which resulted in a P4 result at qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sainz entered qualifying having ended the final practice session just hours before as the fastest driver, but the Spaniard could not re-produce his session-topping form from FP3.

Max Verstappen took pole position for Red Bull - the 33rd of his career - while Sainz's teammate Charles Leclerc was second.

Having gone into the outing with high confidence, Sainz revealed that his pace mysteriously slipped away as session wore on.

“I think we were very strong from the beginning of Q1, a bit like we saw in FP1 and testing, very good over one lap,” Sainz told media including RacingNews365.

“I did a very conservative lap in Q2 and tried to save that tyre for the race [on Saturday]. I thought we had two or three-tenths in the pocket going into Q3 and for some reason, those two or three-tenths never came from Q2.

“It shows that there's maybe something to look into there in Q3 because we didn't make the progress that we normally do.

“Apart from that I’m very happy with the car, I’m happy with the progress of the team. And now it's time to go racing.”

Sainz hails improved Ferrari car

Ferrari enters the new season having endured a difficult campaign last year, slipping to third place in the Constructors' Championship.

The car was also particularly difficult to drive at times - but Sainz has confidence that Ferrari has eradicated some of its primary concerns.

“[We have a] better base, better rear - more predictable one [with] better understanding,” Sainz asserted. “Now we are ready to fight for better things this year.

“At the same time, the race pace of the Red Bull [on Thursday] still looks very strong.

“But hopefully with the Mercedes’, McLarens and Astons [when] last year we would do a step backwards in the race, hopefully this year we don’t do it.”

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