Why Carlos Sainz has ‘sour feeling’ after 2023 Austrian GP

Carlos Sainz has blamed a Ferrari blunder on costing him a podium in Austria.

Carlos Sainz expressed a “sour feeling” following the Austrian Grand Prix, as his impressive race at the Red Bull Ring resulted in a fourth-place finish. 

The Ferrari driver held the third position early on, trailing Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. 

However, team orders instructed Sainz to maintain his position behind his teammate, hampering his progress.

To compound matters, Sainz’s race was further compromised when he pitted under the early Virtual Safety Car, costing him valuable time and dropping him behind Sergio Perez, Lando Norris, and Lewis Hamilton. 

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While he managed to overtake Norris and Hamilton in subsequent laps, Sainz was unable to pass Perez and had to settle for fourth place, leaving him pondering what could have been on an otherwise positive weekend.

Expressing his frustration, Sainz said, “Yeah, obviously frustrated with the final outcome after having such a strong pace on the medium [tyres], feeling also like I was playing the team game and not getting rewarded with a good result. 

“It leaves you always with a sour feeling. I’ve been very strong today, very quick, very fast, good overtaking, good defending, but in the end, P4 is not what I want.”

Regarding the decision to pit under the caution, Sainz added, “The Virtual Safety Car ending like it was, I think it would have made sense because I was always going to get a bit penalized by that, which I did. 

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“I think I lost six or seven seconds of race time, three positions which I had to recover then, using my tyres, track limits… From the first stop onwards, my race was quite compromised, especially a shame after having such a good pace.”

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Despite the disappointment, Sainz found encouragement in Ferrari’s upgraded package and his own driving performance as the Formula 1 paddock transitions from Spielberg to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix next weekend. 

“Yeah, I’m very happy with the car performance this weekend, with my feeling with the car,” he commented. 

“I think I’m also in a good personal moment with my driving, with my understanding of the car, how to drive it in the race. It’s just a shame that we could not maximize the result.”