Carlos Sainz Jnr said he did “everything I could” to try and keep the Red Bull drivers behind him during the Italian Grand Prix.Max Verstappen behind. Eventually, Verstappen passed him on lap 15 after Sainz made a mistake into the Rettifilo chicane.
In the closing laps of the race Sainz also lost second place to Sergio Perez But after resisting another attack from his own team mate he secured his first podium finish of the season with third place.
The pole-winner said he fought as hard as he could to keep the dominant Red Bulls behind him.
“It was very, very tough,” said Sainz. “It cannot get any tougher than what it was today.
“Honestly, the whole race I was pushing very, very hard to keep the Red Bulls behind. That obviously made me use the rear tyres a lot, trying to keep up with them and trying to keep them behind.
“In the end I ended up paying a bit the price with the rear tyres, but I did everything I could to defend with all the cars that I could. I brought it home in the end in P3, but it was a tough one for sure.”
Sainz was almost hit by his team mate as the pair fought over the final podium place. He said the battle with Leclerc was “tough, hard racing.”
“It’s always been a pleasure to race Charles whenever we’ve had the chance and today was the same,” Sainz said. “A great racer, same as Max and Checo. We had fun out there today and I hope you guys enjoyed it also.”
Ferrari have had difficulties with suffering more severe tyre wear than their rivals across the season. Sainz admitted Red Bull were stronger with their tyres again this weekend, but was happy with the performance of his team.
“I think we just need to keep working on our pace, on our tyre understanding,” he said.
“I think today, it was obvious that we were wearing the tyres a bit more and we were just lacking a bit of pace. But it’s definitely a big step forward compared to Zandvoort. This weekend we’ve been best of the rest, which is a good result for the team given the circumstances.”
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2023 Italian Grand Prix
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