Even a point at the end of a difficult race was no solace to Carlos Sainz, who said there were “no positives” to take away from Monaco this weekend.
Renault introduced updated bargeboards as part of a high downforce aerodynamic package in Monaco, with Sainz - who only got the new parts on Saturday morning - delivering an impressive qualifying result to start from eighth on the grid. With team mate Nico Hulkenberg missing out on Q3 but able to start on the ultrasoft tyres as a result, Sainz - who was on the hypersoft at the start - dropped back to tenth and even let Hulkenberg through as part of team strategy before engaging in a fight with Max Verstappen.
“I think that’s not really part of my race, it was just a consequence of not being on the right tyre at the right time all the time,” Sainz said of allowing Hulkenberg to pass. “I was suffering a lot of graining in the front tyres, which is something we need to look at, because to put on the ultrasoft tyre on lap 15 didn’t make a lot of sense I don’t think… Not a lot of positives to take home from this one.”
Having let Hulkenberg through into what was eighth place at the time, Sainz then had to defend from Max Verstappen as the former Toro Rosso team mates went wheel-to-wheel for a number of laps. One lap after Sainz cut the Nouvelle Chicane in defence, Verstappen then got ahead at the same place but also failed to fully make the corner – although Sainz was resigned to Verstappen’s move after the race.
“I think there was not much we could have done,” he said. “If he was on the limit or out of the track limits I don’t really care, he was a lot quicker and I was just struggling a lot out there.”