Sainz: ‘I would be lying if I said we weren’t surprised’

Sainz: ‘I would be lying if I said we weren’t surprised’

Carlos Sainz (Madrid, 27) achieved his 13th podium in Formula 1 at Spa-Francorchamps and the seventh in 2022. He regained fourth place in the World Cup with a one-point lead over Russell’s Mercedes. He is now 15 points behind Leclerc, his teammate. Since the Spanish GP in May, he has edged the Monegasque in every race he has completed.

—Given the pace of Red Bull, is there anything else we could do?

“I don’t think I left anything on the track, but we weren’t as strong as Red Bull. They were on another planet, strong in qualifying and in the race, better in tire management and stronger in certain corners. We weren’t fast enough. After the good start and the good recovery, I thought I had a chance. But I quickly realized that the tires were overheating and that was not going to happen here.

– Are you surprised by the superiority of Verstappen and Pérez?

— I would be lying if I said that we are not surprised, because the disadvantage is the biggest we have seen between these two teams in 2022. It is something we did not expect and we must analyze why we are so weak on this point. circuit. Conclusions need to be drawn and a stronger low-support package should be prepared for Monza. I expected six tenths of qualifying to go away in the hottest race, I was optimistic, but that made the disadvantage even bigger. We have to accept this third place because there was not much else to do this weekend.

—Were you afraid of the pressure from Russell at the end of the race?

“It was tight, I thought it would be tight at the end but I did a good job at the start of the ‘relay’ with the hardest part having rubber at the end. I was in the same rhythm as Checo and George at the end. Although we struggled with the tires until the end of this race.

—Why was Red Bull so strong? Can it be repeated at Monza?

— This is a consequence of the characteristics of the runway. We will see after Zandvoort, a track with strong downforce, before jumping to conclusions. My feeling is that we had a bad weekend with the behavior of the car and Red Bull had a good one. I have to wait a few races to analyze all this. I was not surprised that Red Bull was a little faster at Monza, but we want to fight. Like in Baku and other low-load circuits where we were able to pass them in qualifying and make it difficult for them in the race.

—What do you think of the Spa renovation for 2023?

“It’s one of the best circuits on the calendar and they’ve done a great job with the changes they’ve made to the track, with gravel clearances and with safer Eau Rouge. It’s a spectacle, I hope it stays longer on the calendar.

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