‘The race win was there’ says Sainz after bittersweet Monaco P2
It was a fourth podium of the season – and 10th of his career - but Carlos Sainz was left rueing what might have been, having agonisingly missed out on his first Formula 1 victory with a superb drive in wet conditions in the Monaco Grand Prix.
Sainz ran a comfortable second behind Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc in the early stages of the race and then found himself in the lead when he overruled the team’s request to pit for intermediate tyres, instead wanting to stay out until the track had dried enough for slicks.
As his main rivals pitted, Sainz moved into the lead – and he showed strong pace until he pitted for hards. But when he rejoined, he lost time following a lapped Williams for 12 corners, which meant when Sergio Perez pitted the next lap, the Red Bull jumped ahead.
Though Sainz put the pressure on Perez, he couldn’t find a way past on a track where it is notoriously difficult to overtake and he ultimately settled for second behind the Mexican in the knowledge that the race win had been within his grasp.
“It’s bittersweet, especially because I was leading the race before the pit stop,” he said. “After the pit stop I had a terrible out-lap behind a lapped car. It cost me a couple of seconds of race time that was enough for Checo to jump me.
“The race win was there but unfortunately these things happen around Monaco. It was my turn to get a bit unlucky and then I tried everything I could to get past but around here with these wide cars is tricky.”
He added: “We nailed the strategy; I made the right call with the tyres to stay out on the extreme until it was dry. Everything was perfect just the out lap, the out lap cost me. Without that out lap I would be here today celebrating a win.
“I’m not going to complain too much. I know that this sport is like that. Checo was unlucky in Jeddah - obviously today he did a great race plus he got a bit lucky with myself. In this sport it will turn around one day or later.”
Sainz closed to within one point of fourth-placed George Russell in the drivers’ standings, and trails championship leader Max Verstappen by 42 points after seven races.