The Spaniard lost control of his Ferrari at high-speed before slamming into the Turn 3 barriers after just eight minutes of running in a truncated and eventful FP2 session.
Sainz, who walked away from the crash unscathed, revealed he was caught out by several new bumps on the Yas Marina track.
“I’m feeling good. It was a pretty big crash,” he said. “With these safe cars, you can get away with pretty big hits. [I’m] pretty untouched and that’s the case. I’m a little bit sore, but nothing to worry about.
“For some reason there’s been a change in the track compared to other years. There’s two bumps in the exit of Turn 2 and one on the entry of Turn 3, which, with this generation of cars, it’s upsetting the car a lot.
“It nearly caught me out in FP1. I changed a few things in the set-up and in the line, trying to get rid of it. And then in that lap, for some reason, it surprised me.
“We’ve seen before with this generation of car that any small bumps can really make you spin, make you have a pretty heavy crash. It is what it is and it’s not ideal.”
While he did not go into detail, Sainz admitted that set-up changes to his car between FP1 and FP2 may have played a role in the crash.
“We were definitely changing things between FP1 and FP2 which might have had an effect, but obviously I’m not going to go into details of that,” he explained.
“But unfortunately, I just couldn’t control the car. It just snapped on me and it is in those moments you feel like a complete passenger and you wish you would have maybe done something different.”
It marks the second time in as many weekends that Sainz has sustained extensive damage to his SF-23.
However, unlike last weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, where he was hit with a 10-place grid drop for exceeding his engine components, Sainz is confident he won’t incur any penalties.
“No, we shouldn’t take any penalties,” he said. “So all good for the rest of the weekend.”