Carlos Sainz admits he was 'a bit disappointed' at being unable to fully capitalise on his third row starting position as he and Max Verstappen slipped down the order in the Spanish Grand Prix.

The local driver stole the headlines in qualifying by placing the Toro Rosso fifth on the grid, where he was joined by team-mate Verstappen, but a poor start preluded a tough opening few laps as he struggled to keep faster rivals behind him in the DRS zones.

Nonetheless, Sainz bided his time, opting to focus on coming on strong in the latter stages, and duly struck in the final laps by passing Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat to secure points in ninth place, a result he was content with.

Related Articles

"A tricky race," he said. "A bit disappointed that P5 was nowhere near to lasting. I saved my tyres thinking about the end of the race as I know our car performs better on lower fuel, so I managed to extend my stint on the hard and then looked after the medium tyre so for the last five laps to do a qualifying simulation and go for the points."

Reflecting on his clash with Kvyat on the final lap, when the pair came together as they disputed ninth place, Sainz - who was later cleared of wrongdoing - was certain he had done nothing wrong.

"I had DRS and I managed to get ahead of him for turn one, but because it was the last lap he went for it like crazy and he touched my rear wheel, so I decided to avoid an accident by going straight on."