Carlos Sainz may have finished second in the Russian Grand Prix, but the Ferrari driver said his hopes for a top three finish in the rain were almost lost – until the decision to switch to intermediate tires “worked well” and podium secured him a fifth career.
The Spaniard not only qualified second, but went into the second corner after an electric start in Sochi in front of pole sitter Lando Norris. However, Norris easily took the lead a few laps later on the back straight and Sainz had to pit from medium to hard tires. But his second stint was more competitive and when his rivals pitted, Sainz found himself back on the podium.
READ MORE: “Everything under control” – Devastated Norris is convinced that he won in Sochi without the latter rain
When asked how much he enjoyed third place, Sainz said: “A lot. Mainly because at one point in the race it really looked like it was going to go wrong.
“After suffering so much graining with the medium tire, after leading the race fairly comfortably for the first seven or eight laps, seeing so much deterioration and losing position to Lando and being one of the first to follow them Box went and queued behind Valtteri and suffering from all the traffic, at some point I thought that there was no podium. “
SIDE-BY-SIDE: Sainz overtakes Norris in an exciting race start at the Russian GP
But that explanation came with a caveat, as the Spaniard admitted he wasn’t happy with how difficult it was to maintain the lead before Norris swept past to take it back on lap 12.
RACE HIGHLIGHTS: Find out about the action at a dramatic Russian Grand Prix in Sochi
“It’s mostly happy, but I think as a team we just have to, you know, as Ferrari we have to keep analyzing and see what we can do better with tires, fuel and top speed to make sure that the next time around Ferrari is leading a Grand Prix, we won’t be overtaken as easily as we are today, ”continued Sainz.
“But in general, I think today was a very strong race. We got off to a perfect start, risked it on Lando, we did very good stint management on the hard road behind the traffic and then we managed to push. We were on course for a reasonably comfortable P3 before the rain came and made things a lot harder. But I made it anyway. “
2021 Russian Grand Prix: Norris overtakes Sainz on the back straight to take the lead
However, he praised the team’s decision to box him for the intermediates. Sainz said: “Yes, we made exactly the right decision at the right time. I … almost lost the car two or three times, so [they] Called to come for Inters just to make sure we make it to the end.
Driver of the day: Norris gets your vote after getting so close to the first F1 win in Sochi
“In the end we decided to do Inters in the fast four laps, and it worked out wonderfully and we finished third, didn’t we? So good calls, good management. Just a little more obstacles than I expected after taking the lead in Turn 2, ”said Sainz in conclusion.
The 27-year-old’s third podium place for Scuderia keeps the team 17.5 points behind Mclaren in fourth place in the overall standings.The post “It looked like it went wrong” – Sainz survived the late rain in Sochi and secured Ferrari the third podium first appeared on monter-une-startup.