Ferrari boss on Sainz’s woes: ‘These things should not happen’

After a torrid qualifying, Carlos Sainz span out of the 2022 Australian Grand Prix early on, leading him to label the weekend a "disaster."

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto in Bahrain, 2021.v1

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto sympathises with Carlos Sainz after the Spaniard retired early on from the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.

Truth be told, Sainz’s third race of the season was straight out of a horror movie. He looked competitive during Friday practice, but saw his first Q3 lap abruptly ended just before the timing beam by a red flag caused by a Fernando Alonso crash.

Ferrari then suffered from a starter issue ahead of the 27-year-old’s final run, meaning he needed to rush out a hurriedly string together a lap which was only good enough for ninth as team-mate Charles Leclerc took an exceptional start.

READ: Disappointed Sainz takes responsibility for torrid Australian GP

The Maranello squad needed to change his steering wheel moments before the formation lap on Sunday, offsetting various aspects of the car.

Subsequently, the car went into anti-stall on the first lap, costing him a further five places and, in his haste to recover the ground, span into the gravel at Turns Nine and 10, terminating a miserable weekend.

He took full responsibility for the incident that ended his race early, but Binotto empathises with the fact that his driver was the victim of a litany of afflicting circumstances.

“He is certainly disappointed with today and we understand that disappointment,” he told Sky Sports.

“It was important to prove that he was fast again coming here to Australia and he was fast on Friday and again on Saturday morning.

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“Then with the qualifying and the race then maybe he has been a bit unlucky. There was a problem with the steering wheel on the grid. These things should not happen, but they do.”

The 52-year-old, however, stressed that his driver will bounce back.

“But I know Carlos and he will come back and come back pretty strong. I’m just looking forward to Imola now to see his speed again.”

READ: Horner suggests cause of Verstappen’s ‘unacceptable’ DNF in Melbourne

Leclerc went on to win the race in utterly dominant fashion, finishing over 20 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Conceivably, this might create a paradigm at Ferrari in which Sainz is there to play a support role for the Monegasque, but the boss is adamant that the former McLaren driver will return to the top of the timesheets, at such time he will be given equal status alongside the 24-year-old.

“They are free to fight,” he explained.

“That is important for us. I think for Carlos the situation will improve with both the speed and the pace, it will come back. I will enjoy then, the back and forth for position [between Sainz and Leclerc].”

Leclerc now leads George Russell in the Drivers’ Standings by 34 points, while Sainz’s nightmare weekend leaves him third, four points behind the Briton.