Sainz admits career-best fourth was "unthinkable"

Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz labelled his career-best fourth place finish in the Singapore Grand Prix as "unthinkable".

Sainz admits career-best fourth was "unthinkable"
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber C36
 Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 leads Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
 Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, passes as Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, emerges from the pits
 Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
 Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12

The Spaniard, starting from 10th on the grid, made a poor getaway when his anti-stall kicked in, and spent a significant part of the race defending from his rivals as he opted for supersoft tyres when nearly everybody else switched to ultrasofts once the track dried up.

After the slow start, Sainz managed to slowly climb up the field and moved to fourth when Renault's Nico Hulkenberg hit trouble.

"It was a result we really earned, doing the right thing every time," said Sainz, who will drive for Renault next year. "There were complicated moments, especially when I had people with new inters behind me and mine were used.

"Then when everybody was on ultras I was on the supersofts and I had to defend very hard from people who were a second quicker than us because of the tyres.

"Then things started to happen, we passed some people and we finished fourth, which is incredible, unthinkable."

Sainz, ninth in the standings with 48 points - two more than he scored in all of 2016 - said the race had been one of the most important days of his career.

"It was a very important day. One of the most important of my sporting career and I can be very, very happy.

"It was a much harder race than you can imagine, because I had Checo [Perez] behind me with ultrasofts and Hulkenberg with fresher tyres and I spent all the race looking in the mirrors, trying not to make mistakes.

"I knew they had better pace and even so we finished ahead of them. It was much harder than it looked from the outside."

He said Toro Rosso will need to investigate the cause of the problem he had at the start.

"I don't know what happened. I'll have to analyse it because as soon as I released the clutch, the anti-stall kicked in. I don't know if it's a human error or whatever, but we'll have to analyse it.

"I stayed calm. I knew the race was very long. Once I knew I had chosen the right tyre - when they told me [Lewis] Hamilton was on it too - I had the confidence knowing that I wasn't the only one on inters."

shares
comments
Red Bull feared Ricciardo would suffer gearbox failure

Previous article

Red Bull feared Ricciardo would suffer gearbox failure

Next article

Ferrari duo, Verstappen cleared over start accident

Ferrari duo, Verstappen cleared over start accident
Load comments
Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold? Prime

Can Red Bull really win anywhere now it’s toppled a Mercedes F1 stronghold?

OPINION: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner reckoned Max Verstappen winning the French Grand Prix – an event where Mercedes had previously been dominant – would signal “we can beat them anywhere”. Here’s how that claim stacks up looking at the rest of the 2021 season

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2021
The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1 Prime

The IndyCar feature that Paul Ricard desperately needs in F1

The French Grand Prix offered a surprisingly interesting spectacle, despite the headache-inducing nature of the circuit. But IndyCar's Road America race offered far more in terms of action - and the increased jeopardy at the Elkhart Lake venue might be something Paul Ricard needs in future...

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2021
French Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

French Grand Prix driver ratings

The French GP was a weekend decided by tiny margins both at the front of the field, as Red Bull inflicted a comeback defeat on Mercedes, and in the battle for the minor points places. That's reflected in our driver ratings, where several drivers came close to a maximum score

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes Prime

How Red Bull took French GP "payback" on a day of Mercedes mistakes

The French GP has been a stronghold for Mercedes since Paul Ricard's return to the calendar in 2018. But that all changed on Sunday, as a clever two-stop strategy guided Red Bull's Max Verstappen to make a race-winning pass on the penultimate lap - for once leaving Mercedes to experience the pain of late defeat it has so often inflicted on Red Bull

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2021
The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge Prime

The Mercedes lap that puts F1 victory fight back on a knife-edge

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past.

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021