Ferrari messaged Mercedes to unlap Sainz in Styria

Jon Wilde
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Carlos Sainz has described the “very strange scenario” of unlapping himself from Lewis Hamilton during the Styrian Grand Prix.

On the short Red Bull Ring circuit, Sainz had been lapped by the World Champion, who was running in second position, while the Ferrari driver was trying to catch Lando Norris for fifth place.

But the Spaniard found himself being held up by the Mercedes, which was struggling for pace in pursuit of eventual winner Max Verstappen, and thus Ferrari made a radio message to clear the way for Sainz to move back past Hamilton.

Sainz said he had been stuck behind Hamilton for 15 of the race’s 71 laps.

Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari merchandise is available via the official Formula 1 store

“It was a very strange scenario,” Sainz told reporters after his chase of Norris proved to be in vain and he finished sixth.

“I came out of the pits on the hard tyres and was really looking forward to going to catch Lando because we had the pace.

“Unfortunately, I had to let Lewis by because I got blue flags while I was getting the hards up to temperature, and from there on I expected Lewis to pull away.

“But for some reason, Mercedes were struggling a bit with tyres and I was quite a bit quicker than him. I also didn’t want to do anything stupid as I know he’s fighting for the championship and he’s in P2 in that race.

“I didn’t want to compromise his race either, but at the same time I was getting a bit impatient because I could see we were not catching Lando and that he was not going to lap Lando.

“So at some point, together with my team, we found a way to transmit to Mercedes that it would be very nice of them if they could let us by. I got within the DRS range and then they let us by and I could start chasing Lando again.

“But I did lose 15 laps behind Lewis that were quite important for us to at least mount a charge and put Lando under pressure. So yeah, those 15 laps behind him, killing the front tyres, trying to get within DRS range, were not ideal.”

Over the team radio, Sainz asked Ferrari if they could speak to Mercedes and request that Hamilton move over.

He asked: “Can you not talk to Mercedes and tell them I will pull away please?” Ferrari confirmed they would see what could be done and shortly afterwards told Sainz: “You can try to unlap yourself.”

Sainz then questioned whether it would be too risky to try, while Hamilton was informed by his team that they were happy to let Sainz go through.

After waving thanks to Hamilton as he moved ahead, Sainz then said: “I owe Lewis one, thank you guys.”

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