Sainz was a shock elimination in Q1 at the Yas Marina Circuit, leaving him only 16th on the grid.
Immediately after his early exit, Sainz complained over team radio about potentially being impeded by two cars on his final effort.
While the impeding wasn’t investigated, Sainz felt it had an impact on his final run, and was the reason he failed to progress into Q2.
Speaking after qualifying, Sainz hinted that drivers ‘give a bit of dirty air on purpose’ to aid their chances of making it through.
"Between us drivers, we know," he said. “We know that if you do a corner one or two seconds in front, you're going to make them lose a tenth or two in the corner.
"I see people as the weekends have gone by when it's tight in Q1 or Q2 giving a bit of dirty air on purpose in some corners, maybe to make the other [driver] lose some time in corners which we don't consider impeding because it's not like you need to lift.
"But you know you're giving him dirty air and you know you're giving him a bad run in that corner.
“Everybody is doing it. If you put yourself in a bad track position, you're going to suffer more.”