« Not now, not now, not now! » These are the words spoken by carlos sainz when Ferrari suggested that he make a second pit stop, on the 41st of the 53 laps of the French Grand Prix, when the F1-75’s medium tires had already covered 23 laps: the Scuderia feared that they could not make twelve more.
It was then that Sainz took third place from Pérez in the Pont corner, after a fierce battle, when he had started from the back of the grid due to a engine penalty. Inevitably, the Iberian showed very little enthusiasm for the idea of a pit stop, even if he ended up doing so at the insistence of his team. He then rejoined the track in ninth place and moved up to fifth place at the finish.
« I’m sure when they show me the data that makes them believe I couldn’t have finished the race… You have to trust the numbers because that’s what we base our strategy on. »says Sainz about this decision strongly defended by team principal Mattia Binotto. « I’m sure they did it with the best of intentions. Of course, when you’re third, in a position to get on the podium, after starting last, the last thing you want to do is Maybe that’s why I was more inclined to take more risks, but in the end the team played it safe with the tyres, which I totally understand, and we will have to analyze it together. »
Carlos Sainz chats with a member of Scuderia Ferrari
The Ferrari driver adds, more specifically about the message that occurred during his fight with Pérez: « I think they were convinced it was the right lap to stop, even with the battle with Checo. I asked them to let me think about it because I needed to think about the tire and see what was going to happen. »
« I was the one who told them I didn’t think it was possible. [de finir sans autre arrêt au stand], but then I overtook Checo risking my life, found myself in clean air and offered to try to finish on the podium, because I knew the pit stop was going to cost me 32 seconds. In the end, they have more numbers than me, so I followed the instructions to go into the pits and I’m sure we will analyze this together, they will explain to me why they made this decision, and you have to understand that the team is in the best position to make that decision. »
Thus, Sainz acknowledges: « It was a bit frustrating not to try to go all the way, but I think the tires were really on the limit. »
In any case, having multiplied overtaking and setting the fastest lap in the race gives the Spaniard heartache, even if the balance sheet is obviously not what he would have hoped for, with eleven points which just keep him at the fourth in the world: « I think without the penalties it would have been a weekend where we would have fought for pole position and victory. Even with the penalty [moteur] and with a perfect race, a normal pit stop without penalty, we could have had the podium. It’s been a very good weekend for me as a driver, it gives me confidence. »
As for the capital mistake made by his teammate Charles Leclerc, who had an accident while leading the race, a Sainz who has been prone to driving mistakes since the start of the season: « I’ve made a mistake in the race before, Charles made one today and Max will eventually make one, so it can happen. »