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Sainz convinced pole was his

NEWS STORY
22/05/2021

Visibly bitterly disappointed following qualifying, Carlos Sainz is convinced that, but for his teammate's crash, pole position was his.

As the final assault got underway, the Spaniard, who had been on the pace all weekend, was last out, and though on a seriously fast lap - as was Max Verstappen who was running ahead - had to abort when his teammate, Charles Leclerc, crashed at the Swimming Pool exit, ironically allowing him to retain pole.

"I'm very disappointed to be honest," said a clearly frustrated Sainz in the moments after the session. "It's a difficult thing to accept, to digest, it's not like every day of your life you have the opportunity to put it on pole in Monaco. Today I definitely had the pace to do so, but due to the circumstances I didn't.

"It's a very frustrating day for me," he added.

"Run one I lost 0.2s-0.3s in the last sector compared to my best lap," he admitted, "so I knew a 1:10.2, 1:10.1, with the track evolution, was there.

"I had a lot of traffic," he continued, referring to his second run, "Perez into Turn 1, and I already lost a tenth, but then I was recovering the lap time and knew I had the time in the last sector, but it was out of Turn 13 I saw the yellow flag and had to abort.

"I have had the pace to put it on pole, so yeah, I'm starting fourth, so not even close to that," he sighed. "I went into qualifying thinking a pole and the win would be possible and now I'm lining up fourth which is very far away from where I think I could have been."

Asked if his situation felt worse as it was his own teammate who caused the session to be red-flagged, he replied: "No, I cannot be angry with Charles.

"We are all here at the limit," he continued, "we are all pushing these cars like you cannot imagine, we are brushing walls in pretty much every single corner. It's the fastest cars in history, and these things can happen.

"But the circumstances, I'm just very upset with life, or the circumstances right now, that haven't given me the opportunity when for the first time that I fight for pole in my life, around Monaco, for Ferrari, I didn't even get the chance to do the lap.

"I'm sure when I digest this weekend and I look back at it, my brain will be much more happy," he admitted. "I mean, it's my fifth race with the team, around Monaco, a high confidence track, and I've been pushing one of the fastest guys I've ever driven against, which is Charles, all weekend I've been pushing him hard, and I think at a lot of points during the weekend I've been quicker.

"So to have that feeling with a car so early in the season on such a difficult track is something to be proud, because it's not like the other new drivers to teams are doing that well around here.

"I have to be happy, but my brain right now is not happy at all, because at least top two for the team today was possible."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monaco, here.

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