A slow pit stop for Carlos Sainz in the 2021 United States Grand Prix did not allow Scuderia Ferrari to successfully go for an undercut against McLarn, as Team Principal Mattia Binotto admitted at the end of the Austin race, adding that this has been one of the team’s issues during the 2021 Formula 1 season.
Carlos Sainz stated the race ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and had a better race pace, but unfortunately lost the position to the McLaren driver at the start. The Spanish driver gradually reduced the gap to Ricciardo and the Maranello team decided for the undercut to allow Carlos to get ahead of his direct rival, but a 5.6s pit stop led to losing any advantage they could have gained.
“We should’ve been ahead with the pit stop. We should’ve been there.” – Carlos Sainz said at the end of the race.
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Daniel Ricciardo eventually finished fifth, while the Ferrari driver had to settle for P7, unable to defend against Valtteri Bottas in the final stages of the United States Grand Prix:
“Carlos drove really well, but it’s a shame about his pit stop because it was a crucial moment,” Mattia Binotto said in an interview for Sky Italia after the race – “We tried the undercut to jump ahead of Ricciardo, consolidating the position, instead once again we had a problem with the pit stop. It’s our Achilles’ heel this year, we have to use this year to try to improve in every area. We know every detail matters, the pit stop today costs us potentially two positions on track. So it’s too bad about Carlos because seeing Charles [Leclerc], he finished 25 seconds ahead of Ricciardo, half a second per lap of extra speed. Carlos too had this extra potential practically, but we haven’t been able to exploit it.” – he explained.
With Charles Leclerc at least finishing in fourth place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz gaining some points against Lando Norris, Scuderia Ferrari was able to reduce their deficit to McLaren to 3.5 points ahead of the next round of the 2021 Formula One season, the Mexico City Grand Prix.
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