Carlos Sainz reckons the strategy did not play out as expected in F1 Spanish GP in his recovery ride after an off early on.

The up and down season for Ferrari’s Sainz continued in F1 Spanish GP where an off at Turn 4 limited his chances for a podium finish. It was a gust of wind which caught him out which was the same for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

But for Sainz, it was yet another race where he had to fight through the pack and recover lost positions. The retirement for Charles Leclerc meant, he lost a good chance to finish on the podium if not for a bad start and an early off.

“Long, tough race for us,” said Sainz to media. “After the gust of wind and the spin I tried to recover and the car was not the same after that. I picked up quite a lot of damage and I was sliding a lot around trying to get back into the podium. But in the end, fourth, not what I wanted, clearly struggling the whole race, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

While his radio was not aired as much, Sainz admitted to frustrations during the race. Even the different strategy of going long on the last stint didn’t work out as he was almost cleared by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton if not for his issues.

“When you are up those positions and things are going smoothly and you see things happening to other cars, you are thinking that okay, could be my day,” said Sainz. “But I think strategy-wise, we took a bit of a risk, we left the last stint to be very long, but in the end it was too long.

“The tyres died towards the end, but we tried. We had the chance to choose are we going to be the best of the rest or are we going to try something more, so we tried something different and it didn’t work out but the risk was pretty minimal and there was not that much threat from behind.

“Even with the strategy, podium chance was not there, just not quite enough pace, but maybe with the issues Lewis had towards the end if we would have been shorter the last stint, could have been maybe possible. Anyway, still good points,” summed up Sainz.

Team boss Mattia Binotto admits of Sainz struggling where he is unable to match the balanced aggression of Leclerc and that he needs more experience. “Carlos is struggling a bit more but I don’t think he’s really struggling, it’s going well, and Charles is really driving very well,” he said. “Charles is doing a fantastic season so far, he’s capable of running a very aggressive balance which maybe Carlos at the moment cannot.

“So Carlos needs a bit more experience. It’s a shame for him because he damaged the car when going off so he lost downforce and balance. But I’m sure he will get there at some stage because that’s the attitude of Carlos, studying the data, trying to learn a different driving style, adapting himself. It will maybe take a bit of time but he will get there,” summed up Binotto.

Additionally, Ferrari released a statement stating that Leclerc’s issue was not down to design fault or reliability issue but they found that the turbo and MGU-H was damaged beyond repair and they will be forced to take a new one in Monaco.

“Having examined the PU from Leclerc’s car, we found the turbo and MGU-H are damaged and cannot be repaired. However, having fully analysed the failure and its cause, we are satisfied it did not occur through a design fault or reliability issue with these two components or any other elements of the PU,” it stated.

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