Scuderia Ferrari driver does not feel that pressure was a factor that contributed to the crashes he has experienced during the first rounds of the 2022 Formula 1 season.
The Spanish driver started the 2022 F1 campaign with two solid podium finishes, but then struggled with a difficult weekend at the Albert Park circuit in the Australian Grand Prix, where he spun out of the race on Lap 3 due to a poor start that saw him drop outside the top ten, while his Maranello teammate Charles Leclerc was leading the race.
Last weekend, in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Carlos Sainz looked set to fight for a front row start in Saturday’s Sprint race, but crashed out of qualifying in Q2. He then recovered six places in the Sprint event to earn a fourth place for the Imola Grand Prix.
Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto implied earlier during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend that Carlos Sainz might still be learning to deal with the pressure of driving a car capable of fighting for race wins for the first time in his Formula 1 career: “I think that’s a matter of managing the pressure. 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.” – Mattia Binotto explained.
However, Carlos Sainz is strongly convinced that pressure has not been the cause of his two mistakes in Australia and Imola qualifying, explaining that he has just been trying to get adjusted his driving style to the F1-75 car: “I don’t think [the] mistake was [caused by] pressure,” Carlos Sainz said when asked about 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.” – he added.
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At the same time, Carlos Sainz admitted that the crash at Imola was tough to process, and that he is still learning how to deal with difficult moments: “[It was] very painful. 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.” – he concluded.
Carlos Sainz’s disappointing weekend in Italy ended after only two corners in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, due to a collision with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo