Carlos Sainz has confirmed that a “gust of wind” caused him to lose the rear of his Ferrari going into Turn Four in Spain, and the trip through the gravel cause significant damage to his car.
Sainz lost a place to the fast-starting George Russell on the opening lap, before falling out of the points positions when he lost control and span into the gravel trap, re-joining behind Yuki Tsunoda.
Eventually, the 27-year-old was able to recover and beat Sir Lewis Hamilton to fourth, but his eventful day coupled with a reliability failure for team-mate Charles Leclerc made for a difficult day for Ferrari.
“[It was a] long, tough race for us,” Sainz told Sky Sports.
“After the gust of wind and the spin I tried to recover but the car was not the same after that.
“I picked up quite a lot of damage and I was sliding all around trying to get back into the podium, but in the end [I finished] fourth.
“[It’s] not what I wanted, purely struggling for the whole race, but it’s how it goes sometimes.”
Sainz was grateful for the support he received all weekend from his home crowd who had turned out in force to watch him and compatriot Fernando Alonso race.
“It helped me to not give up after the spin,” he explained.
In the end though, it was just one of those days for Ferrari as they relinquished the lead of the Constructors’ Championship after Max Verstappen led home a Red Bull one-two from Sergio Perez.
“I think I was out of the points and with a damaged car I tried to do my best to recover but it wasn’t our day,” added the Spaniard.
“The start, the spin, just everything went the wrong way and to do nearly a whole race distance with the amount of damage that I had was quite tough also.”
Despite the misfortune, Sainz crossed the line to continue his record of scoring in every home race he has contested – he has raced in eight Spanish Grand Prix since 2015.