Carlos Sainz says he went into Saturday’s sprint race at Monza with his confidence weakened following his “weird” crash earlier in the day in FP2.
Sainz lost control in the middle of the Ascari chicane and suffered a “pretty heavy impact” with the inside wall that significantly damaged the front end of his Ferrari.
Although the Scuderia’s crews repaired the SF21 in time for the afternoon sprint, Sainz – who also crashed in FP3 at Zandvoort a week ago – approached the 30-minute race on the back foot.
“Honestly, the confidence was not very high after the crash, I lost the car in such a weird manner and in such an unexpected way when I wasn’t even pushing that the confidence takes quite a big hit,” he admitted.
“But after that in the sprint quali, I took my time to rebuild the confidence to take it easy little-by-little, and I managed to go little-by-little into building that confidence that allows me to go into tomorrow a bit more motivated.”
Sainz couldn’t pinpoint exactly why he had lost control but admitted to struggling on occasion to master the rear end of his SF21.
“It is very difficult to spot anything on data, and to honestly explain it myself,” he said.
“It’s one of those strange ones that I will probably look back on it the rest of my life thinking, ‘What what happened there?’
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“It’s a weird thing, it’s not the first time that happens with this car with myself, I’ve lost this car at the rear a couple of times. So there must be probably something going on that I’m not entirely feeling underneath me.
“But I’m still pushing hard, I’m still trying to be quick, and the race definitely helped me to rebuild a bit that confidence to try and understand what’s what’s going on.
“But in Turn 8, Turn 9, Turn 10 [the Ascari chicane complex] I was very weak in the race, and I could feel that that I don’t have the car fully underneath me yet there.”
Sainz wasn’t sure whether the issued lied with his car or with something that he needs to change in his driving “to maybe protect myself a bit from that”.
“I’ve never, never had a moment there, and I never really crashed there or anything, so a strange one,” he said.
“I’ve been struggling honestly there the whole weekend in that corner with the rear, but you never expect to lose it in the middle of the corner the way I did it.
“So [it’s] something to understand, something especially for me to look into and see if I can keep understanding the car at the rear, try to feel the rear axle a bit better in the mid-corner. Because as I said, it’s not the first time that it happens.
“It’s a fine edge on this car, the rear is sometimes a bit loose in the mid-corner and this is where I’ve lost the car pretty much in the last few times.
“I feel like I can push it hard on entries. But the mid-corner is something that it has caught me by surprise and that I need to look into.”
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