Carlos Sainz quizzed on strategy frustration after ‘I don’t care about Hamilton’ rant

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz drives in practice. Monaco May 2023.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz rounds the apex of the Nouvelle Chicane. Monaco May 2023.

Carlos Sainz brushed off his snappy radio messages over confusion surrounding his strategy in Monaco, describing them as being in the heat of the moment.

The Ferrari driver was told to pit on multiple occasions to try and undercut Esteban Ocon for the final podium position on Sunday, before being told to stay out later in the lap, with the Spaniard having started on hard tyres and looking to run deep into the race.

With the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton having pitted on lap 32, Sainz was brought in soon afterwards to cover the advancement of the seven-time World Champion behind, which when he was told the reasoning over team radio, Sainz snapped back: “I don’t care about Hamilton!” – with Ocon his clear focus in front.

Rain came later on in the race and forced every driver onto wet weather tyres, with the Spaniard having to stop a second time on his way to an eighth place finish come the chequered flag, having earlier targeted a place among the top three – though struggles to stay on track contributed towards that in tough conditions around Monte Carlo.

But when he was asked about his clear frustration at how his strategy played out, the 28-year-old admitted he “didn’t really get” the reasoning behind it at the time, but acknowledged that he was not blameless in why his and Ferrari’s strategy was sub-optimal on Sunday.

“Yeah, just high adrenaline, high excitement on the radio like always in Monaco,” Sainz said to Sky Sports F1 after the race.

“And today, probably at the first pit stop it just surprised me a bit when I was coming on a very quick in-lap and I was on a hard tyre thinking I was going to extend to try and overcut Esteban.

“We boxed and we were one second behind, and I didn’t really get it. I will talk with them now. recommends

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“But yeah, the risk of yellow flag, red flag later, the rain coming, I thought we were going to use the hard for a bit longer and that’s it, and probably the second stop [was] one lap too late – but that’s also my fault, trying maybe to compensate the frustration on the first stop, trying something differently and I got it wrong and boxed too late.”

Sainz had been running with a damaged front wing for most of the race after making contact with Ocon early on, running into the back of the Alpine under braking towards the Nouvelle Chicane.

He opted to not change the front wing for the rest of the race to save time in his pit box, but the Spaniard explained that the tight confines of Monaco makes life hard for the drivers in the present day.

“He braked exactly in the middle of the track and I had no room on the left, no room on the right and nearly took him with me,” Sainz said.

“I’m glad nothing happened but it just shows that this track also we don’t fit, two cars don’t fit and it’s too narrow nowadays.”