Sainz disappointed by first Q1 elimination at Renault

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Renault Sport F1 Team.
© XPB 

The end of the first round of British Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday saw a surprise casualty, when Renault's Carlos Sainz found himself mired in the bottom five and duly eliminated.

It's the first time since he joined Renault on loan from Toro Rosso that the Spaniard has failed to make it though to Q2.

He will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from 16th place on the grid, the first time since Abu Dhabi in 2017 that he has not started inside the top ten.

"It’s a shame that my 100 per cent Q3 record comes to an end," the 23-year-old sighed. "But I knew at some point, with this tight midfield, it could happen despite our best efforts.

"Unfortunately we made some small set-up changes from FP3 to qualifying which didn’t work as I expected," he explained.

"Together with a bit of traffic, this was enough to miss Q2.

“It’s been a challenging weekend so far, every detail was key to make it into the top ten today," he continued. "We’ll analyse all the data and decide on the best strategy for tomorrow.

"It can be a tricky race, but with opportunities to get back into the points, so I look forward to that challenge!"

"We are disappointed for Carlos," admitted Renault's sporting director Alan Permane. "It’s the first time he has been out in the first session of qualifying since he joined us in Austin last year."

By contrast, Sainz' team mate Nico Hulkenberg did make it through to Q2 and ultimately qualified in 11th place after being knocked out of a Q3 spot in the final seconds.

"Nico got the best from the car, but it’s been a challenging weekend where we haven’t been quick enough so far," said Permane.

"Nico starting eleventh does open up some strategy options as we can choose our tyres," he added. "So we will be having a close look at this and seeing what we can do in the race."

"I’m okay with P11 in the grand scheme of things," offered Hulkenberg. "It’s been a tricky weekend for us with the car so far as we haven’t been so competitive.

"The strength of our car is more in the low-speed corners and we lost out here with the flowing high-speed corners.

"Q3 was a tall order, but if you can’t be seventh you may as well be eleventh with a free tyre choice. P11 gives flexibility for strategy which could be valuable and useful; we can still have a strong race here."

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