Carlos Sainz admits he laughed at Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz is looking to stamp his authority against team-mate Charles Leclerc in the remainder of the season.

Carlos Sainz revealed after last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix that he was “laughing in the car” as he approached the two Mercedes drivers in the closing laps, who were copying his tactics from Singapore.

Whilst leading the Singapore Grand Prix, Sainz ensured that Lando Norris in P2 was always within a second of him, so that the McLaren driver could use DRS to keep George Russell behind.

The tactic worked a treat, as Russell failed to overtake Norris, whilst the McLaren driver wasn’t quite quick enough to attack Sainz.

At Suzuka, Russell and Lewis Hamilton attempted the same tactic in the closing laps, whilst they ran in fifth and sixth whilst Sainz behind was in seventh.

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Russell ensured that Hamilton had DRS so that he could defend from Sainz, something which made the Ferrari driver laugh when he realised that his “own trick” was impacting his race.

Mercedes ultimately inverted their drivers and allowed Hamilton to escape to claim P5, whereas Russell was eventually overtaken by Sainz.

“I was laughing in the car because I saw Lewis waiting on 130R,” Sainz comically revealed, as reported by

“I was clear that if I didn’t attack George in the chicane it would be impossible to overtake them. I opened the DRS and with the slipstream I passed him on the straight. It was fun and almost cost me a position with my own trick.”

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Ferrari were actually quicker than Mercedes in Japan which does make Sainz’s result slightly disappointing, although the Spaniard noted that his second pit-stop “cost us some time”.

His P6 and Charles Leclerc’s P4 did at least see the Maranello-based team close to within 20 points of Mercedes, in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

Sainz certainly left Japan feeling like a better result was on the cards but that “it is what it is”.

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“We had more rhythm than the result shows,” he said.

“I had a good start, we were fast in the first stint. I took care of my tires, but when you are behind on the track it is always difficult because at Suzuka it is difficult to overtake.

“We returned to normal, as soon as I got into the race I understood the car well. The last pit-stop cost us some time, but it is what it is.”