Carlos Sainz admits he takes even greater satisfaction out of his Monaco Grand Prix qualifying performance as it came on a day when his Red Bull rivals made mistakes.
Max Verstappen crashed early in Q1 and will start from 21st, while Daniil Kvyat failed to get a clean lap in the final part of qualifying and was ninth overall, half a second adrift of his Toro Rosso team-mate. Having originally been seventh, Sainz will start from sixth place after Kimi Raikkonen's gearbox penalty and says the difficulties other Red Bull drivers have suffered puts his own performance in to perspective.
“That’s why I am very happy with today and with my weekend in general because there’s not been yet one single mistake from my side," Sainz said when asked if he takes added satisfaction from his result following such errors for his rivals.
"Not one lock up, not one wall touch, not one going straight on at Sainte Devote. It’s been very consistent and this is why I am very happy, because I am very confident and the car is giving me this good feedback and I’m just getting better through the weekend.”
However, Sainz admits he feels he could have found the extra time required to beat Nico Hulkenberg to fifth place after finishing 0.023s behind the Force India.
“I was really happy with my lap and I thought Hulkenberg had done a super lap out of nowhere, but then I see it’s only two hundredths, and for sure there are two hundredths in my lap. My lap felt really nearly the best we could do.
"At Turn 1 because the shadow was coming you lose a bit of reference maybe I left something, but it felt like a good one and then I see two hundredths to P5 and then I say for sure there is two hundredths somewhere if I go and find them.
"Really pleased because when I did a 1:14.8 in Q2 I told my engineers and to myself ‘I cannot go much quicker than this because I have done nearly a perfect lap now’ and then in Q3 I managed to do a 1:14.7 which was one tenth quicker so I couldn’t have asked for much more. Maybe two hundredths more to be in P5.”