Carlos Sainz took home a podium at the Singapore GP, but he isn’t happy about how his race went. While he had a brilliant start, it was very clear that he couldn’t keep up with the pace of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, and Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc.
Sainz had started fourth and quickly overtook Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton for P3 in spectacular fashion, forcing the Briton off the track. But it all went downhill after that. Despite getting ahead of Hamilton, it looked like Sainz was in danger as he fell further and further back from the race leaders. Even Hamilton made the comment, “He’s really slow,” over the radio.
If Hamilton hadn’t hit the barrier on lap 33, we might have seen a different podium. Or not, as Sainz was able to deflect a challenge from Lando Norris in the closing stages.
At a post-race conference, Sainz reflected on his race with dissatisfaction:
“I think I cannot be happy because I wish I could have put some pressure together with Charles and Checo, and we could have been both up there to play a bit with Checo.
“But simply I didn’t have the pace and it’s something I need to look at. That’s why I’m not happy at all, because it’s the conditions where I normally am quite quick and normally execute good races.
“At some point I had to settle a bit because it was not worth taking any risks because I was P3 with ten seconds behind and 10 seconds in front, and at that point you have to bring also the P3 for the team instead of pushing a bit too much and making a mistake.
“Something to look at, but of course I am not happy and I will look at this race with good analysis and come back stronger in Suzuka.”
🇸🇬 Strange race for me. I passed Lewis at the start, but then I struggled with pace and only recover it at the end. Lost the feeling with the car after being fast all weekend so we need to see why. Still, no mistakes and solid result. On to Japan.— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) October 2, 2022
Is Sainz’ lost pace a mystery? He outscored Charles Leclerc last year but this year, despite winning a race, and improving since the start of the season, he hasn’t been able to match Leclerc effectively. Now most of the races that Sainz is behind his teammate, the gap has not been as large as Singapore. One reason may be that Leclerc is outstanding on street circuits, they are his strong suit. Sainz isn’t bad on these circuits per se, but Leclerc feels like he was born to race just 0.4mm from the wall.
What do you think?
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