Carlos Sainz makes ‘slower strategy’ claim in Brazil

Carlos Sainz finished third to pick up another podium in Interlagos.

Formula 1 sometimes relies as much on luck as it does on skill, and Carlos Sainz will be pleased that he has had the talent necessary this season as he gets hit by wave after wave of bad luck.

The Spaniard has had to retire from multiple races this year due to incidents out of his control, not even completing a full lap in Imola and Austin before being hit by Daniel Ricciardo and George Russell respectively.

It looked possible that Sainz’s bad luck would strike again in Sao Paulo, as a tear off from another driver got stuck in his brakes and caused them to set alight.

This forced the 28-year-old to pit early and commit to a three stop strategy, which was not the original plan from Ferrari, to change the tyres and deal with the problem caused by the stray tear off.

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Sainz also began the race with a five place grid penalty for changing one too many engine components that permitted by the regulations, which makes his finishing position of P3 all the more impressive.

“Yeah, I think it was a great fightback after having to stop so early,” said the Ferrari driver.

“After having the brakes on fire, having to go a lot earlier than I wanted into the pits and having to commit to a three stop. That was probably the slower strategy today, and I had to give it all.

“I was pushing flat out. Solid race, no mistakes, and in the end, we got a well deserved podium, I think… a smooth race, you know, without mistakes.”

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Sainz recently suggested that he has overcome the adaption period that comes with joining a competitive team such as Ferrari, claiming that he has had to change his driving still a little to suit the car.

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The 28-year-old said that he is pleased to see that he is now matching or bettering the lap times of his teammate Charles Leclerc, who was previously setting times around half a second faster than the Spaniard.

“I think the important thing is that this second half of the season, I think we’ve been solid with the car and I’m back to the level that I want to be, and when I have a smooth weekend the podiums are there and I’m up to speed and confident for next year.”

Currently sitting sixth in the drivers’ championship, Sainz will be hoping that he can pick up six more points than Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi to beat him to fifth place.