After suffering back-to-back retirements at the Australian and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz Jr made his much-needed return to the podium at the recent Miami Grand Prix.
The Spaniard, who started second alongside his team-mate, made a great initial launch off the line.
Disappointingly for Sainz though, he was overtaken around the outside by Max Verstappen at the very first corner, dropping the Ferrari driver down to third.
Sainz never looked set to trouble neither Leclerc or Verstappen, with the latter going on to win the inaugural race at the Miami International Autodrome.
Sainz, at times, had to defend from Sergio Pérez, however, the Spaniard massively benefited from the Red Bull driver suffering a reliability issue halfway through the race.
It meant that for the majority of the grand prix, Sainz was untroubled, as he secured his first podium since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Ex-Formula 1 driver Jan Lammers was quick to criticise the 27-year-old on the NOS Formule 1-podcast, particularly Sainz’ defending from Verstappen on the first lap.
Lammers labelled Sainz as a “lame duck” and believes the Spanish driver should’ve “done better”.
“Carlos should have gone much more to the outside at that start and given Max much less space, because if Max had to go even wider he would have had very little grip,” said Lammers,
“The fact that Carlos let himself be passed like a lame duck was very strange. Carlos could have done better.”
Whilst Lammers slammed Sainz, he did the complete opposite for the race winner.
Lammers, who made his debut in Formula 1 back in 1979, was full of praise for the 2021 World Champion.
“It all started at the start, because there he [Verstappen] showed how to do it,” he said.
“It looks so subtle and you think he has a better start than Carlos Sainz, but he didn’t have that at all. That top-four went away fairly evenly, but he really made the difference with the braking,” continued Lammers,
“It was really great that he kept Carlos on the inside as tight as possible. Carlos had no momentum. He did it in a classic, great way.”
Verstappen’s win in Miami continues the Dutchman’s record of winning every race he has finished so far in 2022.
Sainz will be hoping for a better performance at the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix, his home race.
A number of teams, including both Ferrari and Red Bull, are set to bring upgrades to the venue which hosted the official shakedown test .
Red Bull’s upgrades will see them hit their “optimum weight”, whilst the Scuderia’s first major upgrades of the season will see the F1-75 shed two-three kilograms.