Carlos Sainz took pole for the 2022 United states Grand Prix, but admitted the wind made qualifying tricky as each lap was different as the car’s behaviour changed.
Sainz took everyone by surprise as it seemed to be a case of Max Verstappen versus Charles Leclerc again, but in the end, the Spaniard kept going strong until Q3 taking his third pole in Formula 1 by less than a tenth from his teammate and the Red Bull driver.
“Qualifying went well right from Q1,” Sainz said n Ferrari’s post qualifying media brief. “I was feeling comfortable in the car and building the speed lap after lap until the last attempt in Q3.
“The wind was tricky today, so every lap was a bit different, but this made it an exciting qualifying as it always is here in Austin,” he added.
Sainz is not hiding the fact that Red Bull will be a threat on race day; he said: “Tomorrow we’ll give our absolute best in the race to convert this pole into a win, although we can expect a good battle with our rivals.
“Despite taking pole, I naturally feel sad after learning of the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz,” Sainz paid tribute to Red Bull’s passing founder.
“He was an exceptional man to whom the world of sports owes a lot and he will be dearly missed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends and to the entire Red Bull family,” he concluded.
Leclerc plans to take any opportunity in the race
Charles Leclerc, was second fastest after some mistakes in his final Q3 lap, and will drop down ten positions on the race-start grid for taking a new internal combustion engine and a new turbo
“A tricky qualifying with quite a bit of wind today,” he reflected. “I won’t be starting the race in P2 due to the penalty we have received, so my target for tomorrow is to make up as many positions as possible at the start and take any opportunity there is to fight my way to the front.
“I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Dietrich Mateschitz. He will be sorely missed as a person and always remembered for his incredible achievements,” he added.
Laurent Mekies, Ferrari’s Racing Director summed up the team’s qualifying; he said: “The whole team did a great job in what was one of the trickest qualifying sessions of the season.
“Yesterday we did less preparation work than usual, as we only really had one session to do that, because of the 2023 tyre test. On top of that, as the session got underway, strong winds made life difficult and in this situation Carlos and Charles did a very good job, dialled in to their cars to the extent that in Q2, with both of them being able to go through to Q3 on a scrubbed set of tyres,” he explained.
“Carlos put together the perfect lap and this pole is well-deserved after he has come within a few hundreds of being quickest on more than one occasion this year. If it was not for Charles’ penalty, we’d be looking at an all-Ferrari front row,” the Frenchman pointed out.
Credit goes to the team on track and in Maranello
“Today’s result is also down to the team, at the track and in Maranello, allowing us to prepare and manage qualifying to perfection. the F1-75 is clearly very competitive here at what is one of the most complete tracks on the calendar, with its fast corners, long straights and slow speed sections, making it a really demanding test of a car.
“There are many variables that can affect tomorrow’s race, with tyre degradation a factor in addition to the tricky nature of the track.
“It looks to be a two-stop race and we know from today that the gaps are incredibly small between us and our competitors,” the Ferrari director went on. “We are gearing up for a six-car fight and it will be important for Carlos to get a good start and to manage his tyres well, while Charles will be coming through from the mid-field.
“Finally, we want to offer our condolences to the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams for the loss of Dietrich Mateschitz. His passion for racing and indeed all sports will be much missed by everyone,” Mekies concluded.