Carlos Sainz Jr. has admitted his crash in Canadian Grand Prix qualifying was a result of him “closing my eyes and going for it” to make Q3.
Sainz clipped the renowned “wall of champions” at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on his first flying lap in Q2, and he felt it would probably have been good enough to have pipped fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso for a place in the top 10 shootout.
Alonso made Q3 with a lap of 1m14.260s, and will start 10th in his McLaren, while Sainz’s accident means he will line up 16th.
“He took my place. I handed it to him,” said Sainz.
“I’m disappointed because I’ve been strong all weekend, so do that mistake, sorry, but it sucks. We were very strong in FP3, but immediately when I started doing laps in Q1 I saw we were a bit far off. I was a bit gutted because we were not there.
“I wanted to be in Q3, so I closed my eyes and went for it, and after three or four corners I was flying. So I thought it might be the lap to take me into Q3, to keep doing what I was doing and go for it, and it was perfect until the last 200 meters.
“I clipped the wall, it was a miscalculation and avoidable because I thought I had enough space. But then I saw the replay and I saw the car was sliding and the rear wheel was touching [the wall] while my front was not at all.
“I risked it because I thought maybe I wouldn’t be able to repeat the lap on the second run.”
Suggested to Sainz he was living on the edge, he replied: “I’ve been living on the edge the whole weekend. If you saw the replays from yesterday I was pushing hard the whole weekend, and the situation in Q1 made me push that tiny bit extra.
“In Q1 it was a disappointment for me to be so far off, so I thought I would try something extra. Sometimes it works, sometimes I am the hero when one day it works, but today it didn’t.”