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Sainz: I thought my race was over

Sainz: I thought my race was over

Sainz: I thought my race was over

Carlos Sainz Jr. counted himself lucky for finishing the Monaco Grand Prix on the podium after nearly retiring from the race.

The Spaniard touched with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri on the exit of the first corner of the opening lap. Although the contact was minimal, Piastri’s MCL38 had sliced through the Ferrari’s left front tyre which resulted in a puncture.

Sainz continued for a little longer before locking up through Casino corner and dropping to the foot of the field. He would have dropped out of contention entirely were it not for a major incident a little further behind.

Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez, driving for Haas and Red Bull respectively, tangled in the run-up to the top of the hill, strewing debris all over the track and necessitating Red flag conditions.

This allowed Sainz to rejoin the race from third on the grid at the restart, from which the 29-year-old maintained position ahead of a hounding Lando Norris behind for 76 laps on a single set of Hard tyres.

Teammate Charles Leclerc finally won the Monaco Grand Prix on his sixth attempt, becoming the first Monegasque to do so in 93 years. Piastri held firm to claim P2 while Championship leader Max Verstappen could only manage a lowly sixth.

Very happy for Charles

Sainz: I thought my race was over

In a report published after the 78-lap event, Sainz admitted he was fortunate to be given a second chance after his early incident with Piastri. He said: “It was a very tactical race. I had a very good first start off the line, to the point that I was side by side with Oscar [Piastri] into Turn 1 and I went for the inside gap.

“We touched, I got a puncture and I thought that was it. Fortunately for me, the big accident behind meant I could restart from P3 and thankfully everyone was OK,” added Sainz.

While the Spanish driver tried to make it a Ferrari one-two in the closing stages of the race, he was nonetheless happy for himself, the team and Leclerc for achieving a brilliant combined result.

He continued: “For the restart we had new Hard tyres and it was just a matter of managing the pace until the end and making sure Lando didn’t have a window to pit.

“Once this was achieved, I tried to overtake Oscar during the last laps but it’s simply too difficult if you are on the same strategy as the car ahead.

“I’m very happy for Charles! Winning your home race is something every driver dreams of and it was good to be able to celebrate with him on the podium,” concluded Sainz.

Ferrari will be hoping to win yet again at the next Grand Prix in Canada, which will take place at 19:00 BST (14:00 local time) on Sunday 9 June.