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Sainz “Frustrated” and “Struggle[s] to See the Positives” After “Compromised” Race at Austrian GP

Carlos Sainz "struggle[s] to see the positives" despite having impressive pace at the Austrian GP....

Carlos Sainz had pace this weekend at the Austrian GP, no doubt about it, thanks to a mixture of upgrades and solid form. Despite that, team agreements and strategy blunders “compromised” his race which have left the Spaniard “frustrated” given his “big step forward.” 

This was said before Aston Martin’s protest saw Sainz handed an additional 15s penalty that dropped him from P4 to P6. These penalties, Sainz says, were a result of him pushing to make up for lost time after the Virtual Safety Car. 

“I cannot see inside the car the track limits, maybe I’m very low,” Sainz explained. “I was also doing them while pushing flat out to recover the time I lost during the pitstop while passing Hamilton, Norris, Perez, I passed them all at once pushing like hell.”

Despite this push, Sainz felt there was little he could do, despite maintaing that he was faster than his teammate, Charles Leclerc. 

“We had agreed before the race to work as a team in the first stint to open up to the cars behind so they didn’t want to fight. 

“I followed the plan, even though I had quite a bit of pace and I was quite comfortable and probably could have passed [Leclerc]. It’s a shame after doing the teamwork then the pitstop arrives and you’re compromising the way I race.” 

Sainz went into more detail, saying that it was during his second stint that his race was “compromised” and caused him to “lose positions to cars that I shouldn’t have” as he was “very quick out there.” 

“I was very quick on the first and second stint,” Sainz said. “Obviously, the second stint was already compromised by the first stop, pitting behind Charles and catching the virtual safety car ending, which made me lose six/seven seconds of race time. 

“It made me lose positions to cars that I shouldn’t have lost, which meant then I had to push on the medium [tyre] to overtake them, get the track limits [penalty].

“My race was compromised from that point onwards. But if I look at the pace, I was very quick out there.” 

Without the strategy blunder and the time penalty, Sainz believes the team could have scored a double podium. This is why Sainz “struggle[s] to see the positives” after what he believed to be a fast performance. 

“I’m just frustrated. It’s been a few races that I have a lot of pace in the car. I wish I could maximise it a bit more because I’m very quick this year, especially in the race. 

“I feel like I’ve done a big step forward… But P4 I guess is not bad, but I think today P2 or P3 was on the cards. Honestly, I’m very happy with my performance today. I think I did some very clean, neat moves. I defended well. As soon as I was arriving to one car, I was passing them.

“I was managing my tyres well at the same time that I was attacking. That’s why I guess I’m frustrated right now because I struggle to see the positive on this P4 with all the pace and overtaking and defending that I did. 

“Clearly, I’m in a good moment personally with my driving so that’s why I guess I’m also frustrated that I’m not maximising the points.” 

While his grievances are valid, they mean little after the slew of penalties he received after the race ensured that he would not be sitting on the podium. 

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