Carlos Sainz criticises Ferrari for ‘debatable’ first pit stop call in Monaco

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz head down putting on his cap. Australia April 2023

Carlos Sainz head down putting on his cap. Australia April 2023

Raging at Ferrari over a perceived botched strategy, Carlos Sainz believes the Scuderia could’ve been “a bit more patient” during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Sainz spent the better part of the Monaco Grand Prix starring at Esteban Ocon’s rear wing as the Spaniard wasn’t able to find a way past, and when he did try at the Nouvelle Chicane, he broke the front wing endplate off of his SF-23.

His mechanics took up their positions in the pit lane with a new front wing but Sainz insisted on staying out. That turned out to be the first of three occasions where he was told to pit but refused to with the other two relating to tyre changes.

He eventually came into the pits on lap 34 to switch from hard tyres to medium, one lap after Ocon had pitted, with Sainz questioning why he hadn’t been left out to run longer especially as he came out behind the Alpine driver.

Sainz: “What the f***! This is exactly what I talked about!”
Race engineer Riccardo Adami: “The target was to cover Hamilton.”
Sainz: “I don’t care about Hamilton, I was quick!”

While Ocon scored his first podium of the season with a P3 finish, Sainz dropped to eighth as a rain shower wrecked havoc on his race.

He feels it could’ve been a different outcome had Ferrari been “more patient” in pitting him.

“We had a bit of an eventful race always chasing Ocon and on the gearbox of Ocon,” he said.

“I saved my tyres well, the hard tyres, and it looked like he had a slow pitstop and I was flying on the in-lap and we decided to go for the overcut.

“Probably, given the pace I was showing, maybe we could’ve been a bit more patient but it’s how it is.” recommends

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But he reckons ultimately he lost out on the Monaco “lottery” when an off in the rain meant he fell behind his team-mate Charles Leclerc and had to stack up behind him as the duo pitted for intermediate tyres.

“I think Monaco, first of all is a bit of a lottery, and today was a bit of a lottery for everyone – probably I just got the worst out of it,” he explained.

“The first pit stop is debatable – I will go back and review because obviously I was very quick on the in-lap and felt like I still had a lot more lap time to come in clean air.

“I had been doing all that management, to suddenly pit, it left me frustrated.

“But I shouldn’t have showed it on the radio, first of all, always due to frustration and then the second pit stop, as I said before, it’s a lottery.

“It’s not getting it right or wrong it was one lap too early, one lap too late.”

Sunday’s result means Sainz has yet to reach the podium this season, the Spaniard’s best result his P4 at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

He also dropped to sixth in the Drivers’ Championship with 48 points.