Carlos Sainz has been in the corner where the punches fall in the last couple of races. In Australia, he retired on the second lap due to a mistake of his own, after which he crashed in qualifying at Imola. His race there also ended prematurely on Sunday after being driven into the gravel by Daniel Ricciardo. Another difficult weekend loomed in Miami after Sainz slammed his Ferrari F1-75 into the wall at Turn 14 in the middle of FP2. Luckily the team had enough time to prepare the car for the third practice session and qualifying.
In this qualifying, Sainz had to acknowledge his superiority over teammate Charles Leclerc, but his second lap in Q3 was finally enough for second place on the grid. The Spaniard is not at all dissatisfied with this. “After the pretty heavy crash on Friday, it certainly wasn’t easy to regain self-confidence on such a difficult track as this new one in Miami,” said Sainz after qualifying. “But I managed to stay cool in Q3. I think I was able to do some good laps. It just wasn’t enough for pole position, but that’s okay considering where I’m coming from after Friday.”
The big question is to what extent Sainz can keep up in the race. Due to his crash in practice two, he was unable to run a high-fuel race sim, but still thinks a good result in race one at the Miami International Autodrome is possible. “I think it’s going to be an interesting day with everything that’s happening this weekend. I haven’t done long runs yet. I haven’t been able to test how the car feels with a lot of fuel, so the laps before the grid will be the first time I’ll feel that. That can be quite challenging,” Sainz admits. “At the same time, I feel good in the car. The car is good to drive here so I think we can do well.”