Sainz narrowly missed a top 10 qualifying result after a close qualifying at Imola on Saturday, finishing 11th for Ferrari.
The Spaniard was disappointed after finishing six hundredths from a place in Q3, but less than half a second from the fastest time in the session.
Sainz called it a ‘bad day at the office’ but felt it showed he still needed more time to get to grips with Ferrari after just a day and a half of testing and a grand prix weekend. in the SF21. car.
“Honestly, I felt fast all weekend, but I always felt like I couldn’t turn the lap back, and qualifying showed that,” Sainz said.
“I was just all over the place, never really handling the tight corners the whole lap. Even though I felt quick in the turns that I managed to nail down, I just couldn’t put it in place.
“So I’m disappointed because I know there has been a lap time if I’m doing a good job. I know that I could have crossed [to] Q3.
“But at the same time I think this track exposed us a bit because I’m still missing a bit of mileage, a bit of understanding from the car to know exactly what to expect and how to pull the limit absolute. of it.
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
Sainz felt he could have won a few tenths on his last lap in Q2 which would have comfortably seen him progress to the final stage of qualifying, proving how close the field is in F1 this year.
“It’s tight there, and every tenth counts,” Sainz said.
“But I know today I left two or three tenths on the table, just on my own and my own brake balancing issues, failing to achieve the balance I wanted to every turn.
“But at the same time, it’s early in the season. I have done very few laps with this car and still need to learn. I’m going through a learning curve right now, and I will try to improve myself. “
While his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc was able to qualify fourth, Sainz will have to make his way through the points on Sunday.
But he was optimistic about his chances, being more confident in his race pace than in a lap.
“I’m still a bit of a Sunday driver,” Sainz said.
“I always like to do a better job on Sunday. I’m pretty confident about it and I’m sure I can move forward tomorrow. “