Sainz using botched Melbourne weekend as 'a booster'


Carlos Sainz says Ferrari and himself will use their learnings from his messy Australian Grand Prix weekend as a booster for upcoming races.

Sainz's pair of podium finishes in the first two races of the 2022 season seemed like a distant memory on Sunday evening in Melbourne.

After qualifying, the Spaniard admitted that everything that could go wrong in the session did go wrong, with a first run in Q3 thwarted just yards from the line when a red flag came out for Fernando Alonso's stricken Alpine.

Thereafter, technical issues and cold tyres left him consigned to ninth on the grid on race day.

Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse on Sunday when a bogged-down start was compounded by a terminal off-track excursion that left Sainz's car beached in the gravel trap after just a handful of laps.

Asked if his weekend Down Under had been one of the worst in his career, Sainz struggled to remember a more difficult few days, especially as they had been preceded by such high hopes.

"It's a difficult one to answer, because I don't remember exactly my other 100 and something races in Formula 1," he said.

"So it's tricky to know if it's the worst one, but it's definitely a weekend [where] it looked like it was going well.

"It looked like I was a lot more at home with the car, and putting together some strong laps during the weekend.

"Everything turned out to be probably, yes, one of my most disappointing weekends in Formula 1."

Sainz's shortfall in Melbourne, in terms of both performance and points, led Sky F1's Martin Brundle to suggest that Ferrari could soon prioritize championship leader Charles Leclerc to the Spaniard's detriment.

"He may well end up having to play a supporting role to Leclerc from here, depending on how the competition shapes up and if he can win the next couple of races, which is not out of the question," said Brundle.

Unsurprisingly, Sainz isn't looking at his glass as half full as he vows, with the help of his team, to use the lessons learned from his troublesome weekend to put himself back on the right track.

"The important thing is that I learned from it, that we also learn as a team from it," Sainz explained.

"To be more perfect, to be more strong, to be more robust in all the aspects, and keeping in mind that [there are] 20 races to go, that anything can happen.

"We can only use this weekend as a booster, to make sure that we learn from it and we have more perfect 20 races left."

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