Carlos Sainz says he wasn’t far from challenging for a podium at Monza, but the Ferrari driver ultimately lacked “the pace and the tools” to get in the fight.
Sainz clocked in at the end of the Italian Grand Prix in sixth place, two positions behind teammate Charles Leclerc. But the Spaniard reckons he could have finished further up the order but for “certain weaknesses” that impacted his SF21.
“We were always there, very close to the opportunity, but we never quite had the pace and the tools to be honest, to get in the fight,” Sainz explained.
“We have certain weaknesses with the car that we know, with this circuit, are too big. And whenever we were in a fight, it was very difficult to keep the others behind or attack them.
“It’s a shame, because you always see a podium there very close to you – but never really got the chance to fight for it.”
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Sainz’s crash in Saturday’s second practice had shaken his confidence, although P6 in the afternoon sprint race helped restore part of his trust in his mount.
But the 27-year-old admitted to still being short on confidence in yesterday’s race.
“The only point where I was more or less confident was qualifying [on Friday] where the high rear grip of the soft tyre was helping me to understand the car a bit better.
“But unfortunately, in race runs, I just was sliding a lot, the rear never quite had the top speed, and in the end I was struggling with tyre deg.
“Yes, very tricky to be honest, it’s been a difficult weekend for me and now I need to analyse what I can do better and see if we can improve for next race.”
Unfortunately, Ferrari’s productive double points finish on home soil was trumped by McLaren’s massive haul of points that has allowed the papaya squad to reclaim third from its Italian rival in the Constructors’ standings.
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