“Tomorrow, I will do everything to try and fight with the Red Bulls and attempt to win.” Carlos Sainz Jr. kept his promise, giving it his all on the track and clinching a podium finish in front of the Ferrari fans at the Italian Grand Prix. He battled right up to the last possible moment with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez of Red Bull and Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari SF-23.
In the first stint, Carlos Sainz managed to keep Max Verstappen behind him almost until the first pit stop, but he had to yield when the pressure from the Dutchman became unbearable.
The same scenario played out with Sergio Perez, who made a strong comeback after starting from fifth place on the grid. In the tough dual defense against the RB19s, Sainz pushed the rear tires hard and thus offered an opportunity to his rivals.
“It was a tough day on the track. It couldn’t have been any tougher than it was today, honestly. We pushed to the maximum to keep the Red Bulls behind us, but we used our rear tires too much trying to match their pace and keep them at bay,” admitted the Madrid-born driver after the race. In the end, I paid the price, but I did everything I could to defend against all the cars that attacked me, and I still managed to bring the car to the finish in third place.”
After being overtaken by the Red Bulls, Carlos Sainz couldn’t afford a moment’s respite. Behind him, Charles Leclerc attempted to snatch the podium during the last few laps, launching hard but fair attacks, especially at the first chicane.
Carlos Sainz was excellent in his defense, responding with fairness, intelligence, and skill. This way, he forced his teammate to settle for fourth place in front of the home fans.
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“The battle with Charles was tough, competitive. But it’s always a pleasure to fight with him when the opportunity arises. He’s a great driver like Max and Checo. We had a lot of fun out there today, and I hope you enjoyed it too.”
The Monza race showed how comfortable Ferrari is on low-downforce tracks. Moreover, the double points finish allowed Ferrari to surpass Aston Martin in the Constructors’ Championship and climb to third place.
“We need to keep working on our pace, understanding the tires. It was evident that we consumed the tires more than the Red Bulls, and therefore, we lacked a bit of pace compared to them. But we made a big step forward compared to Zandvoort. This weekend, we were the best among the others, and it’s a good result considering the circumstances,” concluded Carlos Sainz.