Sainz “did the maximum” following eventful F1 British GP, praises his engineers for getting the calls spot on

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Despite Silverstone’s unpredictable weather and ever-changing track conditions, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz delivered all-important points for the team, finishing in P5 after a P7 start on the grid.

As the GP weekend began, it was clear that the British weather would play a major role in the race’s events. Despite the rain and need for continuous tyre changes, Sainz claimed that from the team’s perspective that“we did the maximum”.

The 3-time Grand Prix winner had a strong weekend despite his car limitations, and he combined perfectly with race engineer Riccardo Adami on when to pit for the inters, as well as the dry tyres later on.

“I’m particularly happy with today’s race because even if we were not fast enough in full dry or full wet conditions, we got all the pit stop calls right.”

Sainz switched to the intermediate tyres at the same time as Verstappen, helping him retain good track position whilst he slowly tried to make his way up the grid.

Throughout the race, different areas of the track alternated between wet and dry, and it was in the second period of the opening stint where he took 6s out of Verstappen as the track became greasy with the light rain.

“When it was slick and wet, I managed to catch the lead, the podium places by six, seven seconds in those conditions that I always enjoy.

“We put ourselves in the fight for the podium, but unfortunately as soon as it got full wet or full right, we were just not quick enough.”

Sainz’s success at Silverstone was linked to making the right decisions at the right times, rather than pure speed. 

“I had studied a lot of the weather and everything with my engineers, so I was very confident going into a race that we were capable of getting the calls right today.

“We did some good runs in FP1 and FP2 to measure the conditions, and today we were fully ready. And we executed a perfect race. Honestly, all the calls were pretty much spot on, all the tyres, all the radio calls.”

This preparation paid off as Ferrari executed good pit stops for Sainz, choosing the correct tyre strategy at the critical moments in the race.

Despite this, the limitations of the car were still visible, slower than McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull in the full dry and full wet conditions.  

“It’s just a shame that we were not faster in the first part of the race, or faster on the inters, or faster at the end, because I feel like we would have been 100% on the fight for the podium or the win today

“A bonus point at the end with fastest laps, so yeah, we need to be happy.”

When asked if it was a close call not to switch to the intermediates like teammate Charles Leclerc, Sainz was certain with his choice, noting that, “for me, not even once the engineers told me the intensity of the rain and for how long it was going to last, it was clear.”

Using his knowledge from the practice sessions, he claimed he “knew from FP (free practice) how wet the track would get with that intensity.

“It’s just unfortunate not that I wasn’t closer at the beginning or closer at the end because it’s one of the races where today I felt I could have had a good chance.”

Looking at the season ahead, Sainz acknowledged the challenges the team faces with their current car. The recent removal of upgrades has left them at an even further disadvantage to their rival teams.

Updates from Barcelona had to be binned for the British Grand Prix due to the porpoising they caused in high speed corners.

“It’s clearly not good enough, we are basically with the same car as in Imola. Since Imola everyone have upgraded and we and they’ve probably added a few tenths to the car while we had to revert and we’ve lost two or three months there of performance gain in the wind tunnel and performance that we could have added in these three months.”

Sainz remained focused on positives for the team, while hoping they can bring updates soon to sort the bouncing and get back to challenging at the front like they did earlier in the campaign.

“I feel like today was at least a back to basics approach, back to a car that we know was okay in Imola and we just need to upgrade it from here, but unfortunately our rivals, it’s clear that they are a good step ahead of us. 

“I trust the team will do the right calls circuit to circuit until a more solid package, which is not bouncing in high speed and good in low speed arrives, and then we will start thinking about battling the top three teams again.”

This setback has cost the team valuable performance gains, with both Ferrari drivers much further behind the pack than they should be, and they are set to fall to 4th in the Constructors’ Championship in the near future.