Carlos Sainz is doing good business for Ferrari. After the P2 finish during qualifying on Saturday, the Spaniard crossed the finish line in third place during the Russian Grand Prix. It is his fifth podium in Formula 1.
The podium finish did not seem a given for Sainz throughout the race, as he also explains during the FIA press conference. “At some point in the race it really looked like it was going wrong. First, after suffering so much graining with the Medium tyre after leading the race quite comfortably for the first seven, eight laps, and facing so much degradation and losing the position to Lando and being one of the first ones to pit and getting in the queue behind Valtteri and suffering with all that traffic, yeah, at some point I really thought the podium wasn’t happening.”
Sainz is only driving his first year for the Ferrari team and it’s not always easy. “It’s been a challenging year, obviously, changing teams and adapting to a completely new car with a completely new team but so far this year, obviously three podiums is not bad at all. This weekend, I think, was probably my best weekend as a Ferrari driver. I managed to put together a very strong lap in qualifying, a good start, a good pace management in the race so yeah, hopefully I can keep improving.”
Ferrari must continue to improve
Ferrari is battling with McLaren for the third spot in the constructors’ championship. At the moment, the Italian team is just 30.5 points behind McLaren. “There are still a lot of things to work on, mainly the tyre management side and obviously a bit the top speed there to make sure we are not so vulnerable when we are leading a Grand Prix because I want to make sure next time I have the opportunity to lead a Grand Prix.”