Carlos Sainz says he feared his qualifying session in Bahrain would come to an early end when he suffered a power unit glitch in the closing stages of Q1.
Sainz suffered an issue through Turn 7 and slowed dramatically, but was able to recover to the pit lane, and narrowly remained in contention, finishing the first segment in 15th spot.
Sainz went on to continue his programme, making it through to Q3, where he classified in eighth position.
“I’m happy to be here, first of all, mainly because I thought that after that situation there the whole car switched off, and I thought that was qualifying over for me, so the fact that we are in Q3 is already a decent result,” he said.
“We had that very big shock in Q1, with the car turning off, but thankfully I could start it again and made it to the pits.
“It’s not always easy to recover from that, but we managed to have a very strong Q2.
“I’m obviously not happy with my last attempt in Q3. I went for it, but I’m probably lacking a bit more knowledge on the car and I couldn’t put together a clean lap. It is what it is.
“In general, though, I’m happy. I’ve been improving throughout the sessions, with good pace and very few mistakes so I want to keep gaining experience with the car and building confidence on a one-timed lap.”
Sainz labelled the midfield group as “super tight” but conveyed optimism that Ferrari can pick up a strong result in race trim.
“I mean I think in terms of race pace the others have a bit of an edge on us, but at the same time you know we’ve qualified well, we put two cars in a top eight,” he said.
“I should have been a bit further forward with a better lap. But it’s what it is, and at the moment I’m going think that tomorrow we have a good chance and that we do a good job with the strategy, we can have a strong result.”