carlos sainz qualifying f1 spa-001

Sainz: Puzzled to see big gap to Max and Red Bull

carlos sainz qualifying f1 spa-001

Carlos Sainz will start the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix on pole despite ending qualifying second on the timesheets, six tenths down on fastest man on the day Max Verstappen.

But the Red Bull driver is among several, including Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, who have chosen to take Power Unit penalties at Spa-Francorchamps.

Nevertheless, the gap to Verstappen’s best effort has Sainz concerned as he said in parc ferme after the season: “The lap was OK happy to be starting on pole but not so happy to see the gap to Max this weekend and the gap Red Bull has on us.

“We need to keep digging to see why Red Bull are so fast around this track and why we are trailing them, but starting from pole is a good place to start and we will try and win from there.

“I am a bit puzzled to see this big gap to Max and Red Bull which makes me wonder what will happen during the race – there is something there to find,” added Sainz, no doubt mindful that Verstappen and Red Bull turned 10th on the grid in Hungary to a famous victory.

Carlos: I’m ready for a race in which we will fight with everything

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As tends to be the norm of late, Ferrari fumbled again when sending Leclerc out on the wrong tyres of his first Q3 run, then the drivers erred when Sainz tried to get a two from Leclerc for his final effort, but he was slower!

Later, reflecting in the Ferrari team report, Sainz added: “We had a good qualifying and I’m happy to be starting on pole here in Spa. It was today’s goal and we achieved it with perfect teamwork together with Charles.

“Now we need to focus on ourselves and make sure to keep our competitors behind us because defending from them won’t be easy, especially at the start, as their performance has been very strong this weekend.

“I’m ready for a race in which we will fight with everything we have to bring home another win. In terms of race pace, I think we should be competitive,” added Sainz.

The Spaniard lies fifth in the 2022 F1 drivers’ standings and will be hunting the second F1 victory of his career on Sunday, he won the British Grand Prix in July.