Unhappy Sainz says ‘car was better than the result’
May 12, 2021
Carlos Sainz helped boost Ferrari’s points tally with a P7 finish in the Spanish GP, but the local hero was anything but happy with a result that he said did not reflect his car’s potential.
Sainz lined up P6 on the grid in Barcelona, two spots behind teammate Charles Leclerc, but that was as good as it got for the Spaniard who lost two positions at the start but only recovered one at the end of the day.
“Not very satisfied, to be honest,” quipped Sainz in the post-race interview. “The car was better than the result.
“I felt like today, for the first time of the year, we were clearly the quickest car of the midfield but I got a poor, poor first lap.
“More than the first lap is that I was boxed in into Turn 1 and I couldn’t go anywhere. I guess I need to analyse what can I do better at the start to not lose the positions.
“Because from then on, we were fighting to get back. Overtaking was very difficult – possible – but very, very difficult, especially for us.
“We executed a good strategy, a good couple of pitstops and we managed to make it to P7. I felt like we left some points on the table.”
During his battle to recoup his lost positions, Sainz duked it out in the latter stages of the race with former McLaren teammate Lando Norris.
The pair nearly came to blows as Norris aggressively attempted to defend his P8 position by weaving on the straight, a move frowned upon by the stewards who warned the McLaren charger with a black-and-white flag.
Despite the close call, Sainz said all was “good” with his former McLaren sidekick.
“From my side, it was a very close reaction to Norris’ movement,” he recounted. “I think I nearly crashed into him, but we talked after the race and it’s all good.
“To be honest, black-and-white, whatever, I’m good with him.”
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While Sainz snatched P7 from Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in the final part of the race, he explained why overhauling Daniel Ricciardo for sixth was a no-win.
“We had the same tyres, same age of tyre, which means I think today compared to the McLaren, we were at least two or three-tenths faster per lap,” he said.
“But even like that, with the dirty air of these cars, I think you need to be more than a second quicker than the car in front to be even able to do a move on someone.
“So those three or four-tenths advantage that I had on pace on Ricciardo was not enough to go side-by-side with him into Turn 1.
“It’s something we’re trying to improve also, the top speed, and hopefully we can be better at it later in the year.”
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