Sainz Admits 'Very Difficult Day' After Fighting Through Illness

Friday, 08 March 2024 at 07:00
carlos sainz ferrari car29
Carlos Sainz suggested that the first day of practice sessions before the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was "very difficult" for him.
The Scuderia Ferrar F1 driver Carlos Sainz first missed the media day (on Wednesday) as he decided it would be better to focus on recovery.
From what has been said, the 29-year-old still wasn't 100% on Thursday, but he fought through his illness at one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar. He told the media after the race:

"Obviously a very difficult day after feeling sick. The last 24 hours have been tough and difficult for me."

Sainz said he was not pushing to the limit as he wasn't feeling well enough to do so. Nevertheless, his times seemed competitive. He was P6 in FP1 and P7 in FP2.

"Today was all about trying to get myself on track and learn as much as possible from the car without really pushing too much the limits as I was still a bit on the non-ideal side, but we managed to complete the programme without issues."

Jeddah is a super fast street circuit with many sweeping turns closely surrounded by walls. This circuit allows drivers who push to the limit to achieve better laps, and Sainz wants to recover so he feels more confident about doing so.

"Hopefully, tomorrow, I'm feeling better, even if I probably will not be 100%. But feeling better will allow me to be more on the limit and perform a good Saturday."

"The track is super high grip and high speed, so it also makes it tough from a physical point of view. It's a lot more demanding for the car but also for the driver."

There wasn't a single red flag during either of Thursday's two practice sessions, so drivers and their teams could smoothly complete their programs without interruptions.
It was probably a pretty good day for most, but the Ferrari driver told Sky Sports it was one of his "toughest days" in a Formula 1 car. He added:

"A tricky day, as I said, but we managed to get it done. Now we'll go and take some rest and come back tomorrow stronger."