Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Zandvoort, 2021

Sainz believes he crashed because he was ’20 centimetres off-line’

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says his heavy crash in final practice occurred because he strayed just 20 centimetres away from the racing line.

The Ferrari driver lost control of his car in turn two and hit the barrier hard at the following corner.

“It happened very quickly,” said Sainz. “At the beginning I didn’t know what had happened.

“Then I had a bit of an analysis, a bit of a cooldown in my head. And after what I’ve seen in quali, it’s very clear that centimetres off-line there’s clearly less grip than on-line, there’s a bit of sand.

“I missed the apex by maybe 20 centimetres in that lap and I caught up and you can see maybe that I pulled up a bit of dust and I think that is enough to create an accident at this circuit.”

Despite his heavy impact, Sainz said he relished the challenge offered by the limited run-off at Zandvoort.

“It’s what makes it so challenging and what it makes it so incredible as a driver, so [enjoyable], because you know that you cannot put a foot wrong.

“Today we see drivers paying mistakes in quali and I paid it in FP3. And because of that it’s always tricky to recover the confidence in quali because you know you cannot put 20 centimetres wrong. I managed but it was a tricky one.”

Sainz praised the rapid repair job performed by his mechanics which allowed him to take part in qualifying.

“The recovery is purely thanks to the mechanics,” he said. “The car wasn’t back until 20 minutes after the session, which made everything even more pressed for timing.

“They did an incredible job to put everything together and to allow me to go out. We sometimes talk a lot about Formula 1 drivers being very special but Formula 1 mechanics are incredible and especially the guys today did amazing.”

He admitted he lacked some confidence during qualifying following his crash. “From then on honestly a high-pressure moment, high-tension moment in Q1 with the red flags, with a lack of confidence in myself, in the car.

“But I managed to build it up little by little and put a very strong lap in Q3 that nearly allowed me to qualify in the top five. It was tricky because I felt like I was always one or two sets of tyres behind, like trying to play catch-up. But in Q3, I went for it and it paid off.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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3 comments on “Sainz believes he crashed because he was ’20 centimetres off-line’”

  1. This is why I expect tomorrow’s race to be a procession.
    This track is hard than any other and as punishing as Monaco. No driver can make it 72 laps at full pelt here without making mistakes. So everyone is going to drive within their margins. Which is fine, but don’t expect helter-skelter.

    1. Add to this that if Verstappen comes out first after the first corner he will want to drive the lowest pace possible as a first protection against the undercut and to try and preserve the tires as much as he can because tire life is an unknown and it is likely we will see red flags or SC

  2. Hamilton says, Sainz says..

    But surprised he admitted mistake (although it was most minor), but of course he couldn’t resist even then so “very strong lap in Q3”

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