Lammers criticises Sainz’s defence against Verstappen

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, leads in Miami. United States, May 2022.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, leads at the start of the Miami Grand Prix. United States, May 2022.

Ex-F1 driver Jan Lammers felt Carlos Sainz could have done more to keep Max Verstappen behind at the Miami GP start.

Ferrari looked set to deliver the perfect response to a difficult outing at Imola, Charles Leclerc claiming pole for the Miami Grand Prix, while Sainz made it a front-row lockout for Ferrari.

But, Red Bull would shine on race day.

Verstappen was able to pass Sainz at the start, and once Leclerc began to struggle with graining on the medium tyre, Verstappen made the overtake on Lap 9, going on to claim victory and reduce Leclerc’s advantage at the top of the Drivers’ Championship to 19 points.

Lammers was keen to praise the way that Verstappen had approached the race start, one which set the Dutchman up for that drive to victory.

Carlos Sainz trying to defend against Max Verstappen at the start. Miami May 2022
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz trying to defend against the Red Bull of Max Verstappen at the start. Miami May 2022

“It all started at the start, because there he [Verstappen] showed how to do it,” said Lammers while speaking on the NOS Formule 1-podcast.

“It looks so subtle and you think he has a better start than Carlos Sainz, but he didn’t have that at all. That top-four went away fairly evenly, but he really made the difference with the braking.

“It was really great that he kept Carlos on the inside as tight as possible. Carlos had no momentum. He did it in a classic, great way.”

However, Lammers felt that Sainz could have done more for his Ferrari team and team-mate Leclerc by making life more difficult for Verstappen at the start.

Sainz was unable to make himself a factor in the race, crossing the line P3, though his place on the podium would have been under greater threat if Sergio Perez had not have encountered engine problems which resulted in a loss of power.

“Carlos should have gone much more to the outside at that start and given Max much less space, because if Max had to go even wider he would have had very little grip,” said Lammers.

“The fact that Carlos let himself be passed like a lame duck was very strange. Carlos could have done better.”


Next up is the Spanish Grand Prix, a race where several teams are planning upgrades, Ferrari and Red Bull included.

Ferrari are expected to introduce their first major upgrade package of the season, which reportedly is set to trim two to three kilograms from the F1-75, while Red Bull are aiming to hit their “optimum weight” with their modifications for the Spanish Grand Prix.


Red Bull must be ‘careful’ balancing updates vs cap

The battle between Red Bull and Ferrari will be waged on track as well as in the factories.