Sainz spun his Ferrari at the high-speed Turn 11, lightly damaging the rear wing of his car.

The spin left him with no time on the board and in the elimination zone going into the final few minutes of Q2.

Sainz couldn’t set a representative lap as the damage worsened, leaving him 15th on the grid for Sunday’s race.

“A bit of a shame, as I was coming from a very strong FP3, a very strong Q1 and suddenly this snap in the middle of Turn 11 cost me a whole qualifying as in the end, it meant I stabbed the wall with the rear end plate, which I actually didn’t feel in the car, and then when I look in my mirror, the endplate is completely bent and the rear wing is not delivering the downforce it should,” Sainz explained.

“Something to analyse, something to look into what I could have done differently as it’s a snap of oversteering that I was not expecting, this corner has been flat for me for the whole of qualifying, and for some reason in that lap, I lost the rear, but we’ll look at it and come back from it.”

Even with the damage, Sainz felt that he had the pace to make it through to Q3 until it failed completely.

“Even with rear wing bent like it was, I was coming on a very strong lap before the rear wing properly gave up,” Sainz added.

“Confidence has been there all weekend, it’s been there the last four weekends actually. I’ve been really strong in qualifying, Q1 here I was really strong so one small bump in the road, but honestly I feel comfortable and I feel happy.”

Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc fared better as qualified fourth ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

It was an impressive turnaround for Leclerc, who crashed heavily in FP2 at Turn 22, completely destroying his car.

“A bit more than pretty happy! It’s only qualifying, and the race is tomorrow but after yesterday it was difficult to come back today and just be confident in the car, I took it step by step and in that last lap in Q3 I just went for it,” Leclerc said.

“Especially turn 22, I really thought I had lost the car, and I caught it, and I gained a lot of lap time compared to the lap before.  I’m just really happy, to start P4 and I hope we can maximise that result tomorrow in the race.

“I did not expect that snap, but I obviously went a lot quicker than the lap before. It was very tricky. I had to go for it on that last lap in Q3 and it paid off so I’m really happy.”

Ferrari sits 39.5 points clear of McLaren in the race for third in the constructors’ championship.