Sainz hit back after his shunt in final practice to qualify sixth, just a tenth shy of Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.

The Spaniard maintained track position at the start, settling into sixth behind Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc.

Once Sainz switched to the hard tyre, he struggled for pace, falling into the clutches of Alonso.

Reflecting on the race at Zandvoort, Sainz said that he’s never felt as slow in a grand prix before.

“I am very puzzled at the moment because I had no pace at all during the race since lap 1,” Sainz told Sky Sports. “I was struggling with the front and rear tyres, I was degrading a lot the tyres, I felt like I was sliding a lot and I couldn’t match the pace that I had on Friday so this means we need to look into what went wrong because I’ve never felt so slow in a race, to be honest. I was struggling a lot and I had no pace whatsoever - something to analyse.

“The grip I had today was very low and my tyre wear was super high. I was sliding a lot more than I was supposed to. Just going to look into what happened there because it wasn’t normal.”

Leclerc felt he had a better race pace than Gasly ahead but the difficulties in overtaking and traffic meant it was impossible to make an overtake.

“I think today, to be honest, the performance we were probably quicker than Pierre and every time there was a bit of a gap I could come back but then once I arrived in two seconds range it was very difficult to get closer,” Leclerc added. “We were particularly good on the softs, especially towards the end of the run.

“We managed those tyres in a good way and then we went on the hard. It was a little bit more difficult but we still had a good pace. The pace was good but only fifth today, I think we could have done fourth. It’s a bit of a shame for yesterday in qualifying.”