Sainz had set a time during the second section of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring that was enough to comfortably secure him a place in Q3, although it was marginal as to whether it was within the white lines.
Due to the welter of infringements during Q2, and with the clock ticking and no response from the FIA, Ferrari sent out Sainz again on a fresh set of tyres to guarantee his Q3 place rather than gambling on staying in the garage, only to be punished.
The Spanish driver, who qualified third behind polesitter Max Verstappen in his Red Bull and team-mate Charles Leclerc, said: “For me, the main issue in qualifying was how long the FIA was taking to decide.
“I went wide in, I think, Turn 1, Q2 run two. I was P2, and because we didn't know and the FIA couldn't tell us whether I was going to get the lap thrown away or not, I had to use another set of tyres.
“That is quite a bit of an issue going into tomorrow. In the end, the lap was not deleted. It's like there are so many track limits (decisions) that even the FIA cannot keep up.
“Hopefully, we can improve that because it makes our life extremely difficult in the car, and we need to keep finding a solution.”
Concurring with the Dutch driver, the situation is not as simple as telling the drivers to stay within the white lines.
“There's the issue of visibility, that we don't see exactly where our tyres are, so it makes it very difficult to judge whether we are in or out,” said Sainz.
“We also have the issue that we don't feel the white line. At least if we could feel a white line, we are on top of it or not, that could also help us to pass judgment.
“It is a very particular track, but there are corners like Turn 1, Turn 4, and Turn 6 that I could also flag where there is the natural limit of the kerb, the natural limit of the gravel in those corners.
“But if you're going two centimetres wide, and you are in the gravel or you are in the kerb and you're losing lap time, still we can get penalised for track limits.
“For me, it doesn't make sense because you're not gaining an advantage by going off the track limits. I think the rule of the track limits should be whether you're gaining an advantage or not.”