Carlos Sainz reveals reason for ‘relief’ behind Bahrain Grand Prix podium

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz on the podium in Bahrain.

Carlos Sainz earned a podium place for his drive in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz expressed his “relief” that he was able to go and attack other cars in Bahrain on Saturday, with his previous Ferrari having not enabled him to do that for the second half of last season.

Sainz put in a fan-voted Driver of the Day performance to take third place in Bahrain, overtaking team-mate Charles Leclerc twice on his way to that result, and he admitted it was a welcome return to racing the way he likes to race.

Carlos Sainz expresses ‘relief’ at being able to attack with his new Ferrari

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

With last year’s Ferrari proving tough on its tyres, Sainz explained that his strategies often revolved around managing his stints and having to defend position after qualifying.

Sainz also showed a timely reminder of his talents on Saturday in the first race after it was announced he would be departing Ferrari at the end of the season, with Lewis Hamilton set to arrive in 2025.

Having earned a podium behind the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez on Saturday, Sainz revealed that the last time he felt comfortable attacking other cars without worrying about tyre life came in the middle of last season.

“Yeah, it’s actually a bit of a relief because I remember last year, the last race where I was attacking was Austria – and we’re talking about 13, 14 races ago,” Sainz explained to media including after the race.

“Then the rest of the races last year, you just had to manage, you just had to look in the mirrors, you just had to control your pace, and there were very little opportunities to go and overtake people. recommends

F1 Driver of the Day: Who has won the award in F1 2024?

F1 2024: Head-to-head race statistics between team-mates

“I love going racing and I love going overtaking, being aggressive, attacking, and with last year’s car it was simply impossible to do that.

“As soon as we were in dirty air, as soon as we overheated the tyres, as soon as we pushed a bit too much, it was game over – and this year, [we] come to the most rear limited track of the season, the highest degradation and do our overtaking, attacking race. For me, it’s a relief and it gives me a feeling that we will be able to do this more often this year.

“Doesn’t mean we will do it every race at all, because I still think one of our strongest parts of our car is qualifying, so I think we will still qualify maybe ahead of what maybe our true position is, but at least we’re not degrading and defending like crazy like we were doing last year.”

Read next: Forget the ‘title race’, F1 2024’s fireworks will come at Ferrari…