Abu Dhabi, November 27


fter a challenging weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit, Spaniard Carlos Sainz's season did not go as planned at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he was unable to score points.

Sainz's troubles began on the first day of competition when he was eliminated in the first qualifying round on Saturday evening after suffering a collision in Free Practice 2. On race day, he had a lot of work ahead of him as he qualified in P16 on the grid.

Ferrari decided to employ a different tactic as a result, keeping Sainz out on the circuit in the hopes of gaining access to a free pit stop in the event that a Safety Car was needed. Unfortunately for Sainz, this did not occur, meaning that his late visit to the pits caused him to drop out of the points. He was ultimately classified as coming home on the 18th.

"Well, surprised mainly with the first stint. We were stuck on the hard tyre behind all our rivals, sliding a lot. Every time we've started this year on harder compounds it's never worked for us, we never seem to make the progress that we expect," Sainz was quoted as saying by Formula 1.

"From there on, we were never looking for points, ready for points, so we left it out for a Safety Car that never came and lost the race there. There was also nothing really to fight for doing a normal race because we were clearly out of the points," he added.

In the 2023 campaign, Sainz bagged several high points though -making him the only non-Red Bull driver to take a win this season.

"It's been a very disappointing last two races, to be honest. Since that incident in Vegas it looked like our season for some reason ended there, and since then we haven't really managed to recover the pace and the results and luck," reflecting on how his year has unfolded, the Spanish driver said.

"We've had a lot of struggles in these last two races, unfortunately. We now need to analyse what we could have done better, why these things happened. At the same time, it's been a season with very high highs, very good moments, and once the disappointment of these last two races goes away we will be able to reflect on more of a positive note," he added.

In the drivers' standings, Sainz finished the campaign in P7 with 200 points, five points behind Lando Norris in sixth.

Very disappointing last two races: Carlos Sainz after finishing outside of points in Abu Dhabi GP

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