Carlos Sainz labelled his ninth-placed qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix a “disaster,” adding that he did not have sufficient time to warm up the tyres due to an issue with the starter.
Sainz’s first lap in Q3 was set to be good enough to at least put him in the top five before a crash for Fernando Alonso, who had set a purple first sector, brought out the red flag.
Sadly for Alonso’s compatriot, the subsequent red flag was deployed just as he was about to cross the finish line, putting pay to his run.
The 27-year-old confirmed that this effort would have been significantly better than the one that saw him qualify ninth.
“[It was] much better, it was a normal lap,” he told Sky Sports.
Ahead of his second run, the team had problems starting the engine, keeping him in the garage longer than optimal.
Consequently, the Ferrari driver was unable to warm up the tyres sufficiently, leading to a mistake at Turn 10 that cost him a substantial amount of time.
“The lap at the end we had a problem with the starter. We couldn’t start the car, we went out three minutes late to when we were planning to go out,” he explained.
“I couldn’t prepare the tyre, I couldn’t warm up the tyre, everything was rushed and I had to do the lap with freeing tyres and it was a horrible lap for that.
“[It was] incredibly unlucky and everything that could go wrong in Q3 went wrong, especially because I was in the fight for pole position for the whole quali.”
Team principal Mattia Binotto headed to the media pen after the session to console his desolated driver, but Sainz was in no mood for an arm round the shoulder right now.
“He knows I am angry because we shouldn’t have these problems with the starter and it was just a disaster,” he said.
“He knows I was in a fight for pole and everything that could [go] wrong for me went wrong so I’m not going to be happy at all even if anyone tells me to be happy.
“But tomorrow is another day and we will try and come back.”
He affirmed that a “good night’s sleep” would prepare him for the race on Sunday, but maintained that “until I want to go to sleep I will be angry.”
Sainz’s team-mate Charles Leclerc claimed the 11th pole position of his career ahead of the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.