Ferrari had a disastrous race on Sunday at the French Grand Prix, despite being the fastest team across Paul Ricard. Charles Leclerc started in pole position and took an early lead before losing his car during the 18th left and retiring unexpectedly. Meanwhile, his teammate Carlos Sainz took a 10-grid penalty for taking a new power unit after an engine disaster in Austria. The Spaniard started 19th at La Castellet. However, he attacked the cars ahead of him and progressed forward quite quickly in the race.
At one point, it seemed Carlos was faster than Leclerc, and a possible podium seemed to be achievable for the Scuderia. However, a strategic decision from Ferrari during the last few laps cost Sainz a podium. Sainz was going strong as he went wheel-to-wheel against Sergio Perez for the final podium spot. The Spaniard managed to get past Checo when he was called in for a change of tyres while he was making a move on Perez.
Carlos seemed to be quite frustrated by the decision and eventually got back to the pit to get a new set of tyres. To add salt to the wound, he had to take a five-second penalty for unsafe release and returned to the track at P9. The 27-year-old finished P5 and secured the bonus point for the fastest lap. However, the fans and the media heavily criticized Ferrari’s last-moment decision to bring in Sainz. Although, Carlos Sainz came in defense of his team and claimed that Ferrari did a great job.
Sainz Defends Ferrari’s Pitting Strategy
Talking to Sky Sports, Sainz believed that Ferrari was being super criticized for the moves that other teams might also pull out in their pit stop windows. He revealed that every critical strategy is discussed within the team. He even mentioned that Ferrari is not the disaster that people seem to claim. Moreover, the Ferrari driver accepted that he was in the middle of an overtake when he was ordered to pit. However, Sainz’s team believed it was the right lap to stop and get back to the track out there.
Carlos further revealed that he was willing to risk his tires. He wanted to stay out there on the degrading mediums until the end. He had moved up to P3 and saw a possibility of finishing the race without a tyre change. However, the Spanish driver reckoned that his team had more data as they decided to bring him in. Sainz added, “I’m 100% convinced they did it with the best intentions.”
According to the Ferrari driver, his team needed to keep progressing and find ways to improve. However, Carlos was convinced that his team was doing a good job. Sainz felt that a podium finish was well within his team’s grasp.