Sainz crashed heavily as he approached Turn 3 in final practice at Zandvoort.

Remarkably, Ferrari managed to repair his car in time for qualifying, where he qualified sixth, just behind teammate Charles Leclerc.

Sainz applauded the design of the Zandvoort circuit, saying it’s right that drivers are pushed for mistakes with modern-day circuits often being more forgiving due to the vast run-off areas.

“But in terms of challenges, I think this is away from Monaco and Baku, I think the biggest challenge of the season for the driver,” Sainz said after qualifying.

“I loved it, I loved every single... even the accident, I felt like I deserved to crash, just to be 20cm offline, because this is how a circuit should be, and the prices that we all paid when we were doing mistakes out there is how Formula 1 should be and how we want the circuits of the future to be, and not the direction they went in 10 years ago, that it's been unfortunate.”

Explaining his shunt in more detail, he explained: “Yeah, it happened very quickly. At the beginning I didn't know what had happened, then I had a bit of an analysis, I bit of a cooldown in my head, and after what I've seen in qualy it's very clear.

“Centimetres off-line there's clearly less grip than on-line, there's a bit of sand, and I missed the apex by maybe 20cm in that lap, and I caught up, you can see maybe that I pulled up a bit of dust and I think that is enough to create an accident at this circuit.

“And it's what makes it so challenging, it's what makes it so incredible as a driver, so enjoyable, because you know you cannot put a foot wrong and today we see drivers paying mistakes in qualy, and I paid it in FP3, and because of that it's always tricky to recover the confidence in qualy, because you know you cannot put 20cm wrong. And I managed, but it was a tricky one.”

Sainz praised the speedy repair job by his Ferrari mechanics in getting his car ready for qualifying.

“Well, first of all the recovery is purely thanks to the mechanics,” Sainz added. “The car wasn't back until 20 minutes after the session, which made everything even pressed for time. They did an incredible job to put everything together and to allow me to go out.

“We sometimes talk a lot about Formula 1 drivers being very special, but Formula 1 mechanics are incredible, especially the guys today did amazing.”

Leclerc was satisfied with his qualifying performance but was left to rue a front wing angle change before his final run in Q3.

“I am happy with my lap actually,” Leclerc said. “The only thing I am not happy about is I maybe asked for a bit too much front wing for the last run.

“I lost a bit of the rear and that cost us the fourth place, but that's life. Tomorrow we are starting P5 so let’s have a good start.”