So close to a famous Silverstone win for Charles Leclerc and a P6 for Carlos Sainz, the Spaniard calls that a job well done for Ferrari.
Qualifying P4, it was a dream start for Leclerc as he passed Valtteri Bottas before contact ahead between title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen opened the door for Leclerc to take the lead.
And it was one he held on to until the final few laps, at which point the resurgent Hamilton completed his comeback, ironically passing Leclerc at the Copse corner where he had earlier collided with Verstappen.
Sainz, meanwhile, went from P10 on the grid to P6, even setting the fastest lap of the race at one stage, and that position would likely have been even higher without a slow pit-stop.
So while disappointed about that, overall he was proud to see Ferrari had “delivered” with a strong SF21 at Silverstone.
Asked if he was disappointed to finish only P6, Sainz replied: “Yes, of course. When you have such strong pace and you do fastest laps and you are as fast as we were today, it is obviously difficult to take.
“But considering 65 laps ago [referring back to sprint qualifying] I was last and I managed to finish P6 with a very slow pit-stop, it is still a positive result.
“I think the team has been great in the pit-stops this year and it is the first mistake we do.
“Congrats to Charles because today he put the car where it belonged.
“It has been very positive to see the car in clean air was as fast as it was.
“At some point I was setting fast laps on 25-lap old mediums, so it shows the tyre deg and the set-up and the car balance is improving.
“We are indeed looking to improve all the areas still, but at this circuit, where we felt it would not be very good for us, we delivered and the car was very nice to drive.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) July 18, 2021
Silverstone was Ferrari’s strongest showing of the season since Monaco where Leclerc put the SF21 on pole and Sainz went on to make the podium with P2.
But Sainz did not feel their pace in Silverstone was quite as strong as that, believing there was a pace advantage for Mercedes and Red Bull during the British Grand Prix.
“In Monte Carlo there was the pace to win. Here, I think Mercedes and Red Bull had something more. In the end, Mercedes with two pit-stops finished ahead of Charles,” he told Sky Italia.
“But we were surprised that on such a track, difficult for us, we’ve been very competitive. With clean air, the laps before the pit-stop, I think I was the fastest car on track so this is good news.”
Additional reporting by Luca Brambilla