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Sainz keen to 'forget' Las Vegas GP weekend after overcoming first lap collision to finish sixth

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 18: Second placed qualifier Carlos Sainz of Spain and Ferrari looks on

Carlos Sainz was keen to move on from a tough Las Vegas Grand Prix after he recovered from an opening lap collision with Lewis Hamilton to finish in sixth.

Sainz had a difficult start from 12th on the grid and struggled for grip on the run down to Turn 1 on the opening lap, which saw him slide into the rear of Hamilton, forcing him to come in and replace his damaged front wing.

READ MORE: Leclerc 'disappointed' to miss out on Las Vegas victory but insists P2 'was the best' Ferrari could do

He came out at the back of the field and was seen squabbling with both Aston Martin drivers and the Red Bull of Sergio Perez before making steady progress into the top-10.

After a Safety Car was called upon to clear up the debris from the collision between George Russell and Max Verstappen, Sainz opted to pit again before overtaking Alex Albon late in the event to finish seventh – before gaining a place thanks to Russell’s five-second penalty.

Asked if he was pleased to finish sixth after his difficult start, Sainz replied: “Yeah, given we were nearly dead last after Lap 1, and the incident in Lap 1, it was a good recovery to P6.

2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix: Verstappen snatches the lead from Leclerc at Turn 1, with chaos down the field on the race start

“It wasn’t easy with the cooling of the engine, with the tyre graining to follow cars and overtake today but we managed to recover and damage limitation.”

Sainz qualified second behind his team mate Charles Leclerc but due to a 10-place grid penalty was forced to start in 12th. However, he believes with the pace Ferrari had shown, he and Leclerc could have disrupted eventual winner Verstappen had he started near the front.

HIGHLIGHTS: Enjoy the best action from a thrilling Las Vegas Grand Prix as Verstappen takes victory

“I wish we could have been a bit further ahead or started in the first row with Charles to make Max’s life a bit more difficult,” said Sainz. “I think with two Ferraris up there the race would have been more fun than apparently what it was.

“But it is what it is, I was in the middle of the pack and suffered a lot with tyre warmup, with the graining, the engine overheating. But still we managed to make a good recovery, and I cannot wait to go to Abu Dhabi and forget this weekend.”

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