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Sainz: Australian GP nightmare shows need to be "perfect" in F1 2022

Carlos Sainz says his miserable Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix weekend has shown how he and Ferrari need to be "perfect" if they are going to fight for wins.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, passes the beached car of Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, passes the beached car of Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The Spaniard endured a torrid Melbourne weekend, as a problem getting his car started for his final qualifying lap left him without enough time to warm his tyres up properly and left him ninth on the grid.

He then had to have his steering wheel replaced before the start, hit anti-stall off the grid and dropped down the order, before then spinning out on the second lap.

His nightmare weekend was in contrast to team-mate Charles Leclerc, who secured pole position, the race win and fastest lap to extend his lead in the F1 drivers’ championship.

Sainz could not hide his disappointment about what happened, but says it has simply highlighted how he and his team need to get everything right.

“Charles is driving very well,” said Sainz. “As he says, he has understood this car very well and he's doing great things with it.

“Of course it's a great car, but I also believe he's putting together some very strong races, and some very strong performances.

"So I was excited about qualy and the race, just to see how much progress I had made.

“But unfortunately it didn’t happen. There was always going to be one race where things were not going to go my way, and there was always going to be a race where I was going to end up doing a mistake.

“So now the important thing is to learn from it.

"The important thing is just to come back to try and be more perfect, and try to look into every single detail more because, with the car that we have this year, I feel like every race that you don't finish, you're going to be losing a lot of points that you could have scored.”

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

While Sainz is unsure about the Melbourne weekend being his worst in F1, he is clear it was one of the most disappointing of his career.

“I don't remember exactly my other 100 and something races in F1, so it's tricky to know if it's the worst one, but it's definitely a weekend that it looked like it was going well,” he said.

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“It looked like I was a lot more at home with the car and putting together some strong laps during the weekend.

"And all of a sudden, everything turned out to be probably just one of my most disappointing weekends. I'm not going to neglect it.

“The important thing is that I learned from it, that we also learn as a team from it, to be more perfect, to be more strong, and to be more robust in all the aspects. And, keeping in mind, that with 20 races to go, anything can happen.

“We can only use this weekend as a booster to make sure that we learn from it and we have a more perfect 20 races left.”

Ferrari said it needed to investigate whether the late swap of steering wheel for Sainz contributed to his poor start and early race problems.

Team principal Mattia Binotto said: “We had to change it on the grid just before the formation lap. Did that affect the start itself? I think it is something we are looking into because the settings on the steering wheel should be identical.

“He got anti-stall on the start itself, so we will look at the data to come out with an explanation about what happened.”

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