Ted Kravitz takes issue with Christian Horner’s comments about Carlos Sainz

Michelle Foster
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen fighting for position at the Italian Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz locks up as he tries to hold off Max Verstappen.

Ted Kravitz has taken umbrage with Christian Horner’s criticism of Carlos Sainz’s defending at the Italian Grand Prix, after all, that’s what he’s paid to do.

Red Bull weren’t happy with Sainz’s defending against first Max Verstappen and then Sergio Perez at Monza on Sunday, the Ferrari driver on the limit as he tried to keep the two Red Bull drivers at bay.

He lost both battles, falling to third at Ferrari’s home race while Verstappen claimed his 10th race win on the trot and Perez made it a sixth 1-2 of the season for Red Bull.

Ted Kravitz hits back: Carlos Sainz’s life did depend on it

Despite winning the battle, Horner still wasn’t impressed with Sainz’s antics.

“There was a few comments raised,” said the Red Bull team boss. “Carlos was very robust, he was a little late at times, he moved a bit.”

“But,” he added, “he’s driving a Ferrari, at Monza, he’s going to defend for his life.”

That, Kravitz points out to the Red Bull boss, is exactly what Sainz is paid to do.”

“I thought that comment from Christian Horner when he said Sainz was defending as if his life depended on it… if Horner meant that in a sort of antsy way, well that’s not cool,” the pit lane reporter said in his post-race Ted’s Notebook.

“Because you know what? His life did depend on it, Carlos Sainz’s life did depend on it.

“He had absolutely every right to defend from Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, and everybody else who passed him or tried to pass him today as if his life depended on it because that’s what they’re paid for.”

Starting the grand prix on pole position, Sainz led the first 14 laps of the 51-lap Italian Grand Prix before he was overtaken by Verstappen.

The Dutchman had dogged him lap after lap, trying to pass at the first chicane, before finally making a move stick as he came out tops in a brief wheel-to-wheel battle through Curva Grande that ended with a nice move through the Della Roggia chicane.

Perez went on to make it a Red Bull 1-2 with a late-race pass. Sainz then held off his teammate Charles Leclerc to record his first podium of this season at Ferrari’s home race.

“Monza expected, Monza hoped, the Tifosi thought it might happen and for 15 laps it might have happened,” Kravitz added.

“Ferrari threw everything at this race – they threw new power units, they threw a special Monza wing, they threw driving their engines harder than they would have normally done – Ferrari threw everything at it, but they couldn’t do it. All they could do in the end was fight amongst themselves.

“Carlos Sainz brilliantly finished on the podium. He did deserve it, and he wasn’t going to give it up.”

As for the Ferrari teammate battle in the final few laps of the race, he summed it up by saying: “They tried, they came, they fought amongst each other, they almost crashed, but they didn’t, and they finished third and fourth did Ferrari. Charles Leclerc was not going to back down.”

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Verstappen’s victory was not only his 12th for this season but also his 10th in a row, a new record for the most successive F1 wins.

Breaking the record set by Sebastian Vettel back in 2013 when he was a Red Bull driver, Kravitz believes Red Bull arrived at Monza knowing it’s now or potentially never, such is the magnitude of Verstappen’s achievement.

“They made history,” Kravitz said, “and they were right in what was said in the beginning of the weekend that even coming here there was an element to it that you’ve got to get it done now.

“You’ve got to win, if you’re Red Bull, if you’re Max Verstappen, you’ve got to win your 10th now because if you don’t, it might be a long time coming the next one.”

The Dutchman, 145 points ahead of Perez in the Drivers’ standings, will be looking to extend his record to 11 come Singapore.

Read next: Italian Grand Prix conclusions: Ominous Max, Ferrari’s new ‘redprint’, Hamilton’s clumsiness