Carlos Sainz was ‘in the wrong spot at the wrong time, continuously’

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz is unsafely released. Zandvoort September 2022.

Carlos Sainz addressed the multiple issues that befell him throughout the Dutch Grand Prix, with further mistakes at Ferrari costing him dearly.

Sainz had started third on the grid and kept his place early on, despite mild contact with Lewis Hamilton at Turn 1 that could have caused damage.

He then opted to stop on lap 15 to move onto harder tyres, but the team were not fully ready with a new set for him and he was left waiting in his pit box for 12.7 seconds while his final tyre was retrieved.

That left the Spaniard behind both Mercedes drivers as a result and well off the front, leaving him with a significant job to do to get back into the race.

While he kept in touch, a later stop went more smoothly for him, but he was released directly into the path of compatriot Fernando Alonso and swiftly given a five-second penalty as a result.

With the field having been bunched up by the Safety Car heading into the closing stages, Sainz had been in danger of even dropping out of the points if he could not build enough of a gap to those behind.

But he ultimately dropped three places to eighth once his penalty had been applied, and was left ruing the circumstances that were beyond his control.

“Everything that could happen happened and we were just, I think, in the wrong spot at the wrong time continuously and it was a very bad day,” Sainz told Sky F1 after the race.

Both stops proved to be a significant issue for Sainz during the race, with his unsafe release ultimately costing him come the chequered flag – team principal Mattia Binotto branded his early issues a “mess” from Ferrari’s perspective.

“Because it was clearly maybe a bit too late,” Sainz said when asked about how his tyres were not ready for him at his first stop.

“But we need to keep analysing these cases, keep improving as a team because we keep costing ourselves some points and we need to see why.”

World Championship leader Max Verstappen won a tense home race at Zandvoort, opening up his gap at the top of the standings to 109 points – making a second straight title look increasingly like a formality.

The Ferrari driver acknowledged this is likely to be the case, but has urged Ferrari to learn from their troubles this year to put them in a better place for 2023.

“That’s why we need to keep improving these sorts of things,” Sainz said.

“Especially for next year now because it definitely looks like Max and Red Bull are pulling away now, and if we want to have a shot next year we need to keep improving these things and make the mistakes this year to get them better.”