Sainz says 'missing apex by 20 centimetres' led to FP3 crash

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Carlos Sainz says that missing the apex by a mere 20 centimetres at Zandvoort's Turn 2 put him off-line and into a terminal spin in Saturday's final practice session.

The Ferrari driver lost control on the approach to the track's banked Turn 3 and crashed broadside into the Tecpro barriers.

Sainz reckoned that putting a wheel off the racing line and onto a patch of dust tarmac is a recipe for disaster at Zandvoort.

"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 the setback, Sainz felt that Zandvoort's pitfalls only made the track more incredible to master.

"It’s what makes it so challenging and what it makes it so incredible as a driver, 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.

"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."

The Spaniard will line up sixth on Sunday's grid, just one spot behind Scuderia teammate Charles Leclerc. But Sainz insisted on highlighting the hard work undertaken by his team to het his damaged car repaired in time for 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."

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