“Oscar and I seem to have a magnet recently between each other” — Sainz quips about turn 1 contact with Piastri at F1 Monaco GP

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Carlos Sainz secured P3 on Sunday to made it his third podium at Monaco in the past four years, finishing a mere 4 tenths behind McLaren’s Oscar Piastri at the chequered flag.

This was not without incident however, as Sainz and Piastri once again came to blows, as the two made contact in turn 1 on the opening lap. The Spaniard describing it as if they have been stuck together like magnets to each other recently.

“For some reason, Oscar and I, we seem to have a magnet recently between each other, for some reason that I don’t understand, because we get on well and everything is okay, but we seem to always find each other on track.”

This is not the first time they have collided this season as an incident in Miami left a mark on both drivers’ races, Sainz receiving a 5-second penalty for the contact which took Piastri out of the points.

However, in Monaco, Sainz suffered a puncture to his front-left tyre that looked to have ruined his race as his Ferrari was sat stationary at Casino Square.

His blushes only saved by a red flag brought out by a collision between Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen, which meant Sainz was able to restart he race in the same position he had started, in P3.

“Yeah, I didn’t even feel the contact. It was so slight or it was so small that I didn’t even see it or feel it. But as soon as I exit Turn 1, I could feel the puncture. And yeah, it looked like my race was over there at one point. And then I was really lucky to get the P3 back and race from there the rest of the race.”

The rest of Sainz’s race was characterised by the nature of the Monaco street track which makes overtaking incredibly difficult, as the Spanish driver was forced to play a strategy game.

His goal was to back up the other McLaren of Lando Norris behind him, to ensure he did not have a pit stop gap to George Russell in the Mercedes in P5.

This was important, as a gap bigger around 22 seconds or more would’ve allowed Norris to make an extra stop, come out in the same position, and have much fresher tyres to help chase down Sainz, for a move that could’ve put the Brit into the podium places.

However, towards the end of the race, having made sure Norris did not have the required pit window, Sainz went on the attack, chasing down the McLaren of Piastri who started to struggle from damage picked up on the opening lap.

“Yeah, once I was sure that Lando behind didn’t have a gap to pit for Medium and attack me at the end, I focused on doing some fast laps.

Despite doing his best to force Piastri into a mistake, it wasn’t enough as he came across the line in P3, only 0.433 milliseconds behind the Australian.

“I went down to the 1m14s, which was really quick at the time, and I said, OK, maybe I have a chance at putting a bit of pressure on Oscar, and maybe I can get him to do a mistake, because obviously I knew that passing him was impossible. And, yeah, we got him under pressure. I saw him lose the rear a couple of times and getting a bit loose, but it was not enough to pass.”

Looking ahead to Montreal in a fortnight, Sainz has played down his Ferrari team’s chances of challenging Red Bull for what would be their first world title since 2007.

“I think Ferrari we will have our opportunities in these sort of tracks. I think McLaren will have their opportunities, but when I talk about a normal track we can talk about maybe a Barcelona.

“Canada, I think is quite specific but a Barcelona or any European truck, where I consider it to be a normal track, I still think Red Bull will be favourites, but I don’t think they’ll dominate like they used to do.”