Carlos Sainz: “I'm still shaking. On the last try I almost messed it up”

Carlos Sainz: “I'm still shaking. On the last try I almost messed it up”

“I needed three very good last corners. I risked a lot and it was worth it,” says the McLaren leader, third.

Carlos Sainz:

Last week's disappointment at Spa had sting Carlos Sainz too much. Wounded in pride by that engine breakdown, the McLaren leader rubbed shoulders at Monza again with the greats. He matched his best position on a starting grid and will start third in search of the podium, only behind the Mercedes and with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo as the main opponents.

The misfortune, too many times a companion in the previous six races, this time gave way to the ambition of Sainz, author of an extraordinary lap (1: 19.695), full of risk and precision. “In the last attempt I almost messed it up: I almost lost the car in the first Lesmo. In fact I'm still shaking a bit, because in Parabolica and Ascari I really had to go for it,” said the Madrid-born in Movistar F1.

The legendary corners of Monza, one of his favorite circuits, favored the aggressive style of the Spaniard, who did not even have to resort to the slipstream to propel his MCL-35. “What I wanted was not to start first, I did not care to start last or third. What I wanted to make sure was not to start near the car in front because it is something that distracts me and it is a bit of an adventure because in one lap you have oversteer and in the next one, understeer, “he explained.

“We are not the third car”

After saving a set of tires in Q1, the goal at McLaren was to oust Racing Point and Renault, their rivals in the middle of the World Cup. “The lap didn't start very well, so I was going to need a very good last three corners. I risked a lot and it was worth it. After Ascari I was a bit like … 'Wow, I was very late,” he analyzed the future Ferrari driver, Saturday's big loser, with Charles Leclerc thirteenth and Sebastian Vettel seventeenth.

“When Renault does it well, it must be said and I think that in terms of power we are very close to Mercedes. Now we need a bit of reliability, which cost us many points this year,” said the Spaniard, in the midst of the struggle to reduce the distance compared to Lando Norris , with 22 more points in the table.

“We are not the third fastest car,” predicts Carlos, who will still have to grit his teeth in the Temple of Speed. “There is Verstappen's Red Bull and Ricciardo's Renault, but we have the advantage that we start in front, so they will have to overtake us on the track or at stops,” he predicted. “I am aware that we have not finished the job yet. I hope we can have a clean race and be able to capitalize on this third place,” he concluded.

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