Racing his way from P10 on the grid to fifth in Austria, Carlos Sainz feels he is starting to become the “Carlos that I want to be in Ferrari”.
Ferrari had a tough time in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix, neither Sainz nor his team-mate Charles Leclerc making it into Q3.
That meant the Ferraris could start on whatever tyre compound they wanted with Sainz, elevated to P10 on the grid after Sebastian Vettel’s penalty, running the hard Pirellis in his opening stint.
Paving the way for a one-stop strategy, he ran a long first stint before swapping to the mediums and launching an attack.
Coming up behind his team-mate Leclerc, Ferrari ordered the Monégasque driver to let him by, giving the Spaniard the opportunity to fight Daniel Ricciardo for P6.
He made the most of it, taking the position off the Aussie to cross the line in sixth place, promoted to P5 once Sergio Perez’s penalties for his clash with Leclerc were applied.
Sainz was happy with his results at the Red Bull Ring.
“We’ve nailed the strategy two weekends in a row,” he told Crash.net.
“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.”
Carlos Sainz was on song in Sunday's race 😀
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 5, 2021
Speaking about his race strategy on Sunday, he said: “It was [the best-case scenario] finishing P5.
“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.”
Sainz is seventh in the Drivers’ Championship on 60 points, two behind Leclerc.