Sainz: I saw the podium very near

Sainz: I saw the podium very near

Sainz: I saw the podium very nearCarlos Sainz lamented the ill-timed Safety Car at the end of the 2022 Italian Grand Prix, costing him the chance of a podium, which he claims was very near.

Being one of the drivers having to take a grid penalty for new power unit components, Sainz started Sunday’s race from 18th on the grid, but was on a mission as he went through the field, making it up to fourth by lap 36 and set his eyes on the podium, chasing George Russell who was running third.

However with five laps remaining, Daniel Ricciardo parked his McLaren on the side of the track, with the Safety Car deployed as it went on to lead the cars to the chequered flag.

Sainz believed the Safety Car eliminated his chances to step on the podium, and was quoted by Formula 1’s Official Website saying: “[I was] a bit frustrated in the end.

“Obviously, I saw the podium very near, very close to me – in the last laps I was catching George by 1.5s – we were very quick out there.

“Unfortunately, the Safety Car came out after a very good race, a race where I had a lot of pace. I could make a lot of moves and put myself into podium contention very early,” the Spaniard added.

Sainz’s confidence to carry on

Sainz has been showing more speed at the wheel of the F1-75 recently. Asked of this confidence will carry one for the remainder of the season, he responded: “For sure, because today we were really quick.

“I felt really at home with the car, especially on the soft stint – also overtaking people it felt good. I feel like we have taken a step forward and now we need to keep maximising the races and the results will come,” he explained.

In Ferrari’s post-race report Sainz said: “A good race! I felt comfortable right from the start, overtaking cars nearly every lap and climbing to P4 very early on.

The Ferrari driver insisted he could’ve attacked Russell had the race been restarted, saying: “Even when the Safety Car came out, I would have had a great opportunity at the restart with my new set of Softs, but unfortunately the race finished as it did and neither scenario happened.

“I’m happy with the performance and the comeback, but looking at our pace I was hoping to be on the podium in front of all the tifosi. Thanks to everyone for such great support today.

“We will continue to push until the end of the year,” Sainz concluded.