Sainz revealed after Friday’s apply operating on the Bahrain Worldwide Circuit that he was struggling to know the Ferrari F1-75 automotive over the quick runs, leaving him with work to do in a single day.
However he bounced again in qualifying by taking provisional pole in Q3 forward of Leclerc and Crimson Bull’s Max Verstappen, solely to slide to 3rd through the last runs.
The Spaniard wound up 0.129 seconds off Leclerc’s pole time, however felt happy to have even been within the battle after struggling by way of apply.
“It’s been a really tough weekend for me, I’ve been sluggish, easy as that,” mentioned Sainz. “Charles has been doing a significantly better job than me all weekend, and I’ve been taking part in catch-up.
“Actually, there’s been factors this weekend that I used to be very far behind, so by the point I hit qualy and I used to be preventing for pole, I used to be a bit extra relieved.
“Within the final lap, [Leclerc] did an excellent lap. I believe he put collectively the whole lot, and at that time, you simply must congratulate and say good job to the group.
“It’s nice information to be preventing again in pole place, first time for me additionally preventing for pole. So yeah, fairly fascinating and thrilling occasions forward.”
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75
Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
The 1-Three marked a formidable return to type for Ferrari, which has did not win a race since Singapore 2019 after seeing its type stoop dramatically in 2020, making final season one centered on restoration.
Ferrari had been tipped to begin strongly in Bahrain after impressing by way of pre-season testing, however Sainz mentioned the group had remained centered on executing the whole lot completely, and wouldn’t be getting carried away with this end result.
“We haven’t believed at any level that it was going to be simple,” Sainz mentioned. “I believe we did a really easy quali, no errors. I believe we have to maintain it that manner going into tomorrow. I see the group centered, assured, however not overconfident and never over-celebrating in any respect.
“We have now the fact that we all know we’re Ferrari, that is again the place we ought to be, and we can’t be too enthusiastic about it. It’s clearly excellent news, and everybody will likely be joyful in the present day.
“However it’s nonetheless an extended method to go within the yr, and it’s solely the primary quali and first race.”