Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz concedes the crash that saw him hit the famous 'Wall of Champions' during qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix was “a miscalculation” and “avoidable.”
Sainz had been pushing hard to try and make it through to Q3, but banged his right rear wheel into the wall at the end of his first lap in Q2, breaking the rear suspension, and then also hitting the wall again with the front of the car. Q2 was red-flagged as a result and he will now start from 15th, gaining one position at the expense of team-mate Daniil Kvyat, who has a three-place grid penalty.
“To sum up a bit what went through my mind in that qualifying, obviously we were very strong in P3 and immediately when I started putting laps in Q1 I saw that we were a bit far off. A bit like we expected because we knew in qualifying that the Mercedes-engined teams were going to do a step but I was feeling a bit gutted,” Sainz explained.
“We were pretty comfortable to be in Q3 in P3 and now in qualifying we are not there. In Q2 I just went for it because I really wanted that Q3 and I just kind of closed my eyes a bit and went for it. After three or four corners I was actually flying during that lap. My plan was to do that lap [on my second run] in Q2 but after three or four corners I saw on the dash I was already two tenths quicker and I didn't expect that. So I thought 'this might be the lap - Q2 run one - that takes me into Q3 so I better keep doing what I'm doing and go for it'.
“It was perfect until the last 200 metres but I clipped the wall. It was a miscalculation and avoidable because I thought I had enough space but then I saw the replay and actually the car is sliding and the rear wheel is touching when my front is not at all and this is what brings me back to the wall.”
Asked if he was living on the edge just a little bit too much given the engine deficit, he added: “I've been living on the edge the whole weekend, honestly. I think if you see the replays from yesterday I was pushing hard the whole weekend and the situation in Q1 I think made me push the tiny bit extra that maybe was not possible in Q2 run one. In Q1 it was a bit of a disappointment for me to be so far off, and that's why I say it's something extra because some days it works.
“Sometimes in my career it has worked and you can be the hero if one day it works, but today it didn't.”
Sainz also said that while he will now “race with his eyes open”, he has no intention of easing off.
“I will race with my eyes open, more open than ever I would say. But I will push because it's a track where we have nothing to lose because we were not expecting to be very quick. Maybe I applied that rule a bit too much in Q2 and was going for it a bit too much. But tomorrow will be the same, we need to go for it if we want points here,” he concluded.