Carlos Sainz says Ferrari’s pace wasn’t too strong in F1 Hungarian GP and that any strategy would have troubled them anyhow.

Ferrari started the F1 Hungarian GP in a strong position, with Charles Leclerc leading the race at one point. But things started to go down when he switched to hard tyres and lost all of the pace he had on the medium stint in the middle of the grand prix.

His teammate Sainz was also in the mix for podium and was in the lead, but he extended his medium stint and switched to soft tyres for his last stint. He was expected to gain on the drivers ahead, but didn’t have pace to surge ahead.

Post-race, Sainz admitted that he didn’t have pace in his car while defended the strategy which didn’t have much impact. “Honestly, the pace wasn’t great… I think I was struggling a lot with the front tyres; the balance was nothing close to where it was on Friday,” he said. “I couldn’t push on the tyres, and in the end, 70 laps, I think we ended up where more or less where we deserved to be because we just didn’t have the pace we had on Friday.

“We clearly struggled as a team. We are a bit puzzled because we expected to have very good race pace coming from Friday. But it’s clear that these lower temperatures, the track condition changes that we had today there was something going on with the car and the tyres that we just were not fast.

“We had a bit of bad luck there in the pit stops because we definitely had a couple of slow ones. Particularly the first one was costly, because I think we would have just got George with an overcut, which would have put me leader of the race at the time, which was a bit of a shame, but yes, it’s how it goes.

“We’ve been decent on pit stops the whole year, but it is true that now and then there are a couple of pit stops that are failing us and we need to analyse what we can do better so we can be stronger in the second half,” summed up Sainz.

The Spaniard insisted that there was nothing more they could have done on strategy side and perhaps pit stops also cost them a bit. “I don’t know what we could have done better on strategy,” said Sainz. “But I can tell you that when the pace is bad like it was today, the strategy is always difficult because you don’t have pace with any compound, you are always going to struggle with strategy because you have very little flexibility.

“Yes, the pit stop cost me, two times, and majorly in my second stint because from probably leading the race I went to P3 and having to manage the tyres a lot, which was a shame. But do you include that as a strategy, I don’t know. I think we were just slow. If you compare our pace against the Red Bull on Friday to our pace to the Red Bull today, there was clearly something in the car and in the tyres that we were not doing right,” summed up Sainz.

Here’s Charles Leclerc, Mattia Binotto on things going wrong in Hungary