The Spanish Ferrari driver showed a very good pace from the first practices of the 2022 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, but the Italian team made the decision to change its power unit due to the ease of overtaking offered by the Monza circuit in comparison with the rest of the calendar layouts.
Due to this, Carlos Sainz was aware that he was destined to start from the bottom of the starting grid, whatever his result in qualifying. The man from Madrid finished third on Saturday, but started 18th in the race, with a knife between his teeth and a single goal: to score as many points as possible.
The #55 moved up two positions at the start, to 16th, and on the second lap he overtook Sergio Pérez and moved up to 15th. After seven laps, Sainz broke into the top 10 in the midst of a stratospheric comeback , which was not in Ferrari’s wildest dreams.
On lap 10 of 53, the man from Madrid overtook his compatriot Fernando Alonso and moved up to 7th place, gaining 11 positions in just 10 laps. In the 13th he came to fourth place, with the goal of the podium between eyebrows (Verstappen, Russell and Leclerc were ahead).
The stop for Sainz came on lap 31 and it was frankly good, he started eighth but five laps later he returned to his natural fourth position, 18 seconds off the podium, which at that time was closed by George Russell. On lap 47 of 53, a problem with Daniel Ricciardo’s car caused the appearance of the safety car with which he finished the race and the Spaniard finished fourth.
As soon as he got out of his car, the Ferrari driver was very happy with his performance, but regretted that the Safety Car took away his chances of fighting for the podium in the last laps of the race.
“Good feelings, especially because the truth is that I came back faster than I expected, we were going very fast, I could practically overtake a car per lap and that allowed me to lose little time and get quickly behind Russell, who was the objective”.
“The bad thing is that he was far away, when I got there he was too far away. Then I tried to catch up with him, we were cutting him off a lot in those last laps until the safety car came out and it couldn’t be, but we were going very fast, we I’ve made good overtaking and it’s been fun.
“I think he would have arrived close to the last lap and whether or not I would have jumped at him is already unknown, but we were taking 1.3 or 1.4 seconds per lap and the simulations said that we were there”.
As for the direct comparison with Red Bull, Sainz acknowledged that Ferrari appears to have made a step forward at Monza and hopes that without penalties, that could mean a turnaround for the final six rounds of the season.
“I think we have been closer this weekend, without my penalty we could have made a mixed strategy and we would have put Max [Verstappen] much more under pressure. Let’s see if these penalties end and the fact that I can be up there It allows us to put more pressure on Max.”