Carlos Sainz acknowledged he had been the fall guy at the end of his second consecutive miserable grand prix weekend.
Recently rewarded with a two-year contract extension by Ferrari, that has been the only good news for the Spaniard since his back-to-back podium finishes to start the season.
Having spun out of the Australian Grand Prix two weeks earlier, Sainz crashed in qualifying at Imola but fought his way up to finish fourth in the sprint to collect five World Championship points.
However, in a wet start for the Emilia Romagna GP, the 27-year-old got no further than the Tamburello chicane on lap one as he ended up beached in the gravel for the second consecutive race, this time after being nudged off the circuit by Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren.
Whereas the Australian was able to keep going, albeit with no eventual reward as he finished last with a damaged car, Sainz spent the rest of the grand prix in the Ferrari garage and fulfilling his media commitments – through no fault of his own on this occasion.
Ricciardo was seen visiting the Ferrari motorhome later having pledged to apologise to Sainz.
🇮🇹 Unlucky day. I braked well into turn 1, leaving enough space, but unfortunately Daniel lost a bit the car and hit me from behind. Pity, we were up for a good race. I’m confident we can turn it around. On to Miami.
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) April 24, 2022
“I was the unlucky guy that for someone’s mistake I had to pay, so it’s how it is,” Sainz told Formula1.com.
He added on Sky Italia: “It’s not easy, it’s a difficult moment because I wanted to do this race in the wet. I felt good all weekend, but for some reason we couldn’t do that.
“It’s two weekends in a row that I can’t do more than two laps, so I lack the feeling with the car I would like to have right now. But this is the sport – I must remain positive in these moments, do my job and the good moments will come.”
At the start, it was clear both Sainz and his Ferrari team-mate, Charles Leclerc, who finished sixth after spinning out of third position 10 laps from the end, had got off the line worse than Red Bull duo Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen who were alongside the duo respectively on the grid.
“We had a poor start, that’s for sure,” said Sainz. “We have to analyse that and see what the others did. But it was a long race – in a wet race you could gain back positions in one lap.
“What happened is that at Turn 2, there was a racing incident. Ricciardo lost the car on the kerb and crashed into me. I left him more than enough space.”
Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla
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