Sainz: 'I’m showing the Carlos I want to be' at Ferrari after P5 at F1 Austria

Carlos Sainz believes he’s getting close to being back to his best after an impressive drive to fifth at Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari.
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari.

Sainz was one of two drivers to start on the white-marked hard tyre from 10th on the grid.

Despite dropping down the order on the opening lap, Sainz recovered well and slotted in behind Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez in the early phase of the race.

A long first stint on the hard allowed him to switch to the medium tyre late on, handing him a significant tyre advantage over his rivals.

Ferrari ordered Leclerc to move out of the way, before Sainz overtook Daniel Ricciardo on track with a couple of laps to go.

Finally, Sainz inherited fifth from Perez after he served his 10-second time penalty for two separate incidents with Leclerc.

“We’ve nailed the strategy two weekends in a row,” Sainz said. “P6, P5, it’s starting to be a bit more the Carlos that I want to be in Ferrari and we are starting to execute the races the way we want to execute them.”

Explaining his race in more detail, he added: “It was [the best-case scenario] finishing P5,” he said. “It was a good accomplishment especially after struggling massively on Lap 1 with the hard tyre. It was a bit of a bold choice to start on the hard especially feeling the grip in the formation lap and on Lap 1 I was like ‘whoa, I’m really going to struggle versus the medium and the soft runners here’.

“But somehow I managed to keep it together, stay patient and did a very long stint on the hards, I think it was 50 laps, and attack at the end which was super fun. We managed to put together a very strong P5 finish so very happy.”

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