F1 Japanese GP, Sainz: “Ferrari sacrificed me for Leclerc”

The Spaniard: “I was ahead of Hamilton, after the pit stop I came out behind”

“I was sacrificed for Leclerc.” Carlos Sainz does not hide a hint of bitterness after sixth place with Ferrari in the Japanese GP. The Spanish driver, fresh from his victory in Singapore, finished far from the podium on the Suzuka track. His partner, Charles Leclerc, placed fourth. “I’m happy with the start and the race pace, it was really good with all the problems I had on Saturday. I had pace in general, it’s a shame about the last stop which made me lose the position”, says Sainz to Sky Sport, focusing on the strategy adopted by the team. “I had a few seconds ahead and I lost them to Hamilton,” he adds, referring to the position he ceded to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. “I was 4 seconds ahead, I went out 8 seconds behind. I was sacrificed for Charles who was in front of me and was stopped before me. It was a good race,” says the Spaniard.

Leclerc soon moved into fourth position most notably with an overtake on George Russell’s Mercedes. “It was important to pass Russell, Hamilton was pushing and I was afraid of team play. I didn’t want to waste time, I managed the tires well and took some risks. It was a good overtaking,” the Monegasque told Sky Sport. It was impossible to catch up with the McLarens, who escorted Max Verstappen’s Red Bull to the podium: “McLaren worries us, but we know that there are tracks where they are strong. If they also confirm themselves in Qatar, then we will start to worry seriously.”