In a turn of events that left fans and the racer himself disheartened, Carlos Sainz experienced a challenging conclusion to his Formula 1 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Spanish driver, representing Ferrari, faced a series of setbacks that culminated in a disappointing 18th-place finish.
The weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit started unfavorably for Sainz with a crash during Friday’s Free Practice 2. The difficulties continued into Saturday’s qualifying session, where he was eliminated in Q1, resulting in a P16 start position for the race.
Ferrari, in an attempt to salvage the situation, employed an alternative strategy, keeping Sainz on the track longer in hopes of gaining an advantage from a potential Safety Car deployment. However, this gamble did not pay off, as no Safety Car appeared, and Sainz’s late pit stop ultimately dropped him out of the points contention.
Reflecting on the race, Sainz expressed his surprise, particularly with the first stint on the hard tire, which did not yield the expected progress. The lack of a Safety Car only compounded the team’s challenges, leaving them out of point contention.
This disappointing performance in Abu Dhabi follows another challenging race for Sainz at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, where he collided with Lewis Hamilton on the first lap. Despite these setbacks, Sainz’s season had notable highlights, including a victory in Singapore, making him the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race this season.
As the season wraps up, Sainz looks back at the last two races with disappointment, acknowledging a significant drop in pace and fortune since the Las Vegas incident. The Spanish driver is keen to move past these challenges and focus on future races, hoping for better outcomes in the upcoming season.