Sainz, who joined Ferrari this season, missed his last runs in Q3 in the last two events due to late-session stoppages, but this time he had a clear lap and finished 0.157 seconds ahead of Leclerc.
When asked if he had finally gotten to know the Ferrari, he replied: “Honestly the last three weekends, Monaco, Baku and here I feel really strong. [but] this is the first clean quail I have made in three weekends.
“This is the first quail where I managed to show my true potential and the true potential of the car with me, so after two frustrating quails getting a clean one, just by completing the qualifying laps, it was really good.
“I think it was about time because I was starting to get a little frustrated. “
After flying high in the last two heats – where Leclerc won pole for both – Ferrari fell back to earth this weekend and Sainz’s lap was 0.850s off Max Verstappen’s time.
Sainz unlocks the beat without Ferrari upgrades
Sainz revealed that the team had not made any significant developments since the start of the season, due to the focus on preparing for the new 2022 regulations, but that gains are being made through “tweaks” in the season. design.
He added: “So far this year, other than fine tuning the car, no big improvements, all the focus is on next year, we want to take the next step next year.
“So far this year we’ve been able to improve just by understanding the car, modifying the car very little, which has made it a little faster every race weekend.
“Monaco and Baku surprised us, especially Baku. In Bahrain we saw that we had a very solid car at low speed, Baku had a very long straight and we thought we were going to back up.
“Here, we are unfortunately back to where we were before Monaco and Baku, that is to say these six, seven tenths behind the leaders, but it is still good progress compared to where we were there. last year.