Sainz has bittersweet feeling about Italian GP podium

Carlos Sainz was left with feelings of disappointment over what could have been, despite finishing the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix in second.

The Spaniard had a fantastic start to the race, having qualified third, quickly overtaking Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes, but he thought he could have achieved more than second place from the day.

Sainz had been following behind Lewis Hamilton for most of the first stint but he lost out to Pierre Gasly, who pitted immediately after the appearance of the Safety Car, whilst the subsequent closure of the pit lane meant Sainz himself couldn’t pit until three laps later.

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The session was then red flagged and all cars headed to the pit lane. From the restart, Sainz overtook Lance Stroll in the Racing Point and both the Alfa Romeos, moving him up to second place after Hamilton was relegated to the back of the pack with a stop/go penalty for entering the pits whilst it was closed.

From then on the McLaren driver did his best to chase down the Alpha Tauri, eventually catching up to Gasly on the final lap.

But, despite his efforts, Sainz could not pass him, crossing the finish line just 0.415s behind.

Speaking to Sky F1 after the race, Sainz rued the absence of one more lap which he believed would have enabled him to pass Gasly and reflected on McLaren’s good pace overall. “It’s incredible I’m half disappointed with P2. You wouldn’t have believed that I would have got a chance to fight for victory today.

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“We were very close, but honestly with a normal race I think I would have come P2 behind Lewis because we had really good pace so I think it’s what we deserve.

“I guess a bit of bad luck with the Safety Car but then we did a good job to recover it and with the red flag.

“I’m very happy with P2. We’ve been super quick all weekend. Getting back from P6 to P2 and then chasing down Pierre, we need to be proud of that, we need to be proud of the pace of the car.

“I’m very happy with the way I raced today; I didn’t leave anything on the table. We only needed one more lap.”