Sainz on starting P2: “It’s going to be a tough call to get a podium tomorrow”

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Home racer Carlos Sainz takes P2 in today’s qualifying session in Barcelona, behind Max Verstappen in a very up-and-down session for Ferrari.

The Spanish driver’s afternoon began under the rain with a P4 at the beginning of the afternoon, and progressed to see him achieving an impressive P2 with a 1:12.272s.

However, the 2022 Silverstone GP winner warns that it won’t be easy to hold onto the track position he’ll start in, as he believes Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez is the favourite for the second podium spot, leaving him to fight with a number of midfield teams for the third podium position:

“It is very special, I think is the maximum we could do today. We put ourselves in the best possible position to try and get a podium tomorrow.”

The realistic goal for tomorrow is not the race win because of the unbelievable pace the RB19 and Verstappen possess.

“It would mean everything but I also know Max is in a planet of his own, league of his own.

Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

“It will be still tough to get, especially with Checo coming from P11 with a Red Bull. I think as soon as I get back to the engineers, they will tell me that the simulation suggests that the Red Bulls should still finish ahead of us.

“And then it will be a fight with Lando and the Mercedes. The Aston. I don’t know exactly what happened to them today, but they normally have really good race pace. So, I still think it’s going to be a tough call to get a podium tomorrow.

“We’ve put ourselves in the best possible position to achieve that, but I still think it’s going to be a good fight for me tomorrow,” he summarised his hopes and beliefs for the race.

Asked if Turn 1 could be an excellent opportunity to try and take away the lead of the race from Verstappen, the former McLaren driver denied that it could be an easy move, adding that he would have rather started from P3 on the cleaner side of the track:

I wouldn’t have minded if Lewis or Lando had outqualified me because here the clean side is a bit better for the start. At the same time, it’s also all about the tow and how lucky you get if you can get a tow or a run down to Turn 1.

“Obviously I will try to give it all in Turn 1 and go and get that podium and if Max does something strange, get a win,” he concluded.

Track conditions really weren’t easy to manage, in Sainz’s opinion: “Very tricky, especially during Q1, with how tight the margins were and a couple of dump patches here and there. To get it together in Q1 with the pressureit was very high stress.”