Axed Sky F1 pundit says he felt ‘sorry’ for Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz had a disappointing home race in Barcelona, missing out on a chance at a first podium finish of the season.

Johnny Herbert expressed his sympathy for Carlos Sainz after the Ferrari driver was denied a podium finish by Mercedes at his home race. 

Despite starting on the front row following a tumultuous qualifying session, the Madrid native slipped back to fifth position as both Mercedes cars and a resurgent Sergio Perez overtook him during the race.

Sainz was left to lament Ferrari’s struggles with tire degradation, particularly on a track notorious for its demanding tire wear. 

Nonetheless, he fared better than his teammate Charles Leclerc, who faced a challenging weekend, being eliminated in Q1 and failing to score points on race day.

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During the Lift the Lid podcast, Herbert shared his sentiments: “I felt very sorry for Carlos Sainz because he did a great job in qualifying, securing a spot on the front row. 

“However, during the race, he had two Mercedes cars rapidly closing in on him, ultimately denying him a podium finish.”

Herbert continued: “In reality, he would have secured third place if it weren’t for another team suddenly finding their stride and surpassing him. It’s unfortunate that he lost out due to circumstances beyond his control.”

The disappointment of missing out on a podium finish at his home race will undoubtedly motivate Sainz to bounce back stronger in the upcoming races. 

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Ferrari, as a team, will also be determined to address their tire degradation issues and regain their competitive edge.

Ferrari has been struggling to find their form this season, slipping from P2 in the Constructors’ Standings last season to P4 this year, behind Red Bull, Mercedes and the resurgent Aston Martin.

While it’s unlikely Ferrari could mount a title challenge this year given Red Bull’s commanding lead, there is still a chance for the team to challenge for P3 or P2 in the Constructors’ race.