Sainz: Mercedes know F1 is exciting without them

Date published: September 15 2020

Lewis-Hamilton-PA

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz said even Mercedes now know that a Formula 1 race is more exciting if they aren’t in it.

The Silver Arrows have dominated Formula 1 since the introduction of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014, but their stranglehold on the sport has arguably grown to its strongest level in 2020.

Lewis Hamilton is well on his way to a seventh Drivers’ Championship, while Mercedes already have an 152-point buffer over Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship.

But when Formula 1 headed to Monza off the back of two easy and rather dull victories for Hamilton, the Italian GP delivered a classic.

It took a Safety Car, red flags and a 10-second stop-go penalty to deny Hamilton the win as Pierre Gasly claimed his first Formula 1 victory, while Sainz and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll completed the podium.

The Tuscan Grand Prix was a similarly chaotic affair, but this time Hamilton was able to return to the top step of the podium, taking his number of wins for this season to six.

Mercedes to their credit were full of praise for Gasly following his remarkable achievement at Monza, and Sainz himself has nothing but respect for the position of dominance that they have put themselves in.

But, the Spaniard says that even Mercedes themselves now know that a Formula 1 race is more exciting if they are out of the equation.

“Of course there is frustration,” he told Autoweek.

“But the way F1 works today is that it is clear that the team with the most money will always win. I don’t want to take any credit from them, because the way Mercedes is exploiting its full potential right now is spectacular.

“In fact, there are teams with similar budgets that are having a hard time reaching their level, but that does not mean that I do not hope that Formula 1 changes.

“I think we could have a much more spectacular F1, and I think even Mercedes has realised how exciting a Grand Prix was without them.

“Honestly, behind the Mercedes, our races are always like that.”

Get your hands on the official Mercedes 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store

Sainz will make the move to Ferrari for 2021, though the Scuderia are showing no signs of providing a challenge to their rivals next year.

Although they recorded a double-points finish at their 1000th race at Mugello, Charles Leclerc, who finished P8, is starting to lose his patience with the unpredictable SF1000 after rising to P3 at the start of the Tuscan GP, only to sink down the order.

Sebastian Vettel crossed the line P10, but admitted that George Russell for Williams deserved to finish ahead of them after the red flags worked very much in Ferrari’s favour.

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