Sainz started to believe he could win Italian GP during fight with Verstappen

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In the round-up: Italian Grand Prix pole-winner Carlos Sainz Jnr says he felt he had a chance to win the race before losing his grip on the lead.

In brief

Sainz “used tyres too much” in defence against Verstappen

Ferrari driver Sainz came under sustained pressure from Max Verstappen early in the Italian Grand Prix. Sainz kept his rival at bay for over a quarter of the race before the Red Bull driver eventually found a way past.

Before that, Sainz admitted, he was starting to think he could win. “I felt like I had it fairly under control but then I think around lap 10 to 12, I started feeling the rear-left tyre giving up a lot, a lot earlier than I would have expected,” he said.

“At that point, I realised I had used my tyres too much and probably to keep Max behind, I had worn that rear-left tyre too much and that I was going to suffer a lot for the rest of the race because it was going to probably make me box early onto a hard tyre. And then the second stint was going to be very long.

“It’s exactly what happened and my feeling was correct. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to degrade so much but it was clear that I was pushing very, very hard to keep them behind. Probably harder than what I should have done.”

Pirelli start F1 test at two Italian tracks

Sainz tested for Pirelli at Ferrari’s Fiorano track

Pirelli began two separate two-day tests for Formula 1 tyres on Tuesday. The first was at Monza, where Alpine and Red Bull helping “with the development of future slick tyre without blankets”, while Ferrari were at their own Fiorano test track – with the sprinkler system turned on – to test intermediate and wet compounds.

Sergio Perez was fastest in his Red Bull at Monza with a 1’23.585, with Esteban Ocon lapping 1.923 seconds slower in his Alpine. The pair completed 119 and 118 laps respectively. Pierre Gasly will run in Alpine’s car on Wednesday.

Sainz did 153 laps around the short Fiorano track, and will be replaced by team mate Charles Leclerc for the test’s second day. A photograph taken by a spectator (below) indicated Sainz spun off at one stage.

Andretti Autosport rebrands to Andretti Global

Andretti Autosport is now Andretti Global
IndyCar team Andretti Autosport, which has ambitions to join Formula 1 and Formula 2 in the coming years, has announced it is rebranding to Andretti Global. The American outfit, which also races in IMSA, Indy Nxt, Formula E and Extreme E, said it has “an appetite to expand its worldwide footprint into other major motorsports series” and the FE squad will be the first to be adorned with the new branding when pre-season testing begins in October.

Euroformula reverses ‘Noda rule’

The Formula 3-level Euroformula series has reversed a rule which allowed female racers to run at a lower minimum combined weight for driver and car.

As the series has struggled to attract entries only one driver – Juju Noda – benefited from the rule. Her victory at Paul Ricard in July attracted attention to the series and criticism over the rule.

Starting from this weekend’s round at the Red Bull Ring all drivers will be required to run at the same minimum weight. The exact weight advantage previously conferred varied but was as much as 26 kilograms at one start.

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Comment of the day

PeterG is concerned about what Codemaster’s acquisition of the World Rally Championship game licence in addition to Formula 1 means for its other racing titles.

Pretty sure it’s been said previously that the both Rally and the mainline Dirt series are finished with Codemasters now only focusing on the F1 and WRC games.

Slightly Mad studio who created the Project Cars series as well as Codemasters Evo who developed Dirt 5 and OnRush (And worked for Sony as Evolution studio to make Driveclub, Motorstorm and the excellent PS2 WRC games) have been put onto the teams working on Need for speed titles.

Project Cars has been cancelled by EA and Grid may be finished as well.

Basically with EA’s purchase we have lost the Codemasters that were rotating a few different franchises and styles of game that featured something for everyone.

Now if you don’t like the F1 games or want a Rally game that’s more than just a WRC-licenced title there’s little point getting that excited about anything Codemasters are doing.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Baldry 888 and Charlie!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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9 comments on “Sainz started to believe he could win Italian GP during fight with Verstappen”

  1. I never really had that hope. I always thought he’d eventually lose the lead anyway.

    1. Yeah, i was pleasantly surprised at how well he actually did to keep Verstappen behind for so long.

  2. That’s the power of Verstappen and Red Bull in 2023. They set up the car to be good on tires, sacrificing their qualifying pace in the process, and discussed before hand they just stay behind the Ferrari until their tires were gone and then pounce. I think it was in one of the first five laps when Max was already reporting back that Sainz was starting to slide out of the corners. Then when it was time, Max did a bit of a feint to the inside as if he was going to make a lunge into turn 1 and immediately Sainz reacted by braking too late and locking up and the move was done. Excellent work by Max and Red Bull.

    1. @sjaakfoo

      sacrificing their qualifying pace in the process

      I get your point about the tyres but the RB19 is still the fastest overall car by quite a margin. RBR still technically got 11 pole positions (10 poles due to Verstappen’s penalty in Spa) and even when they were defeated in qualy, the gap was still less than a tenth !

      1. And yet the Ferrari’s top speed was 352kph compared to Red Bull’s 346kph. Because they sacrificed their top speed to improve their tire wear.

    2. As @tifoso1989 highlights, the RB19 has not been focussed at qualifying pace that much, rather from the start of the season we’ve seen it’s has a huge advantage in the longer runs of the races is where it stretches its legs.

      Sure, it IS the fastest car more often than not, especially in the early season. But with the field this close – less than a tenth between the first three cars, it is not a given that the car is fastest, I just don’t think they “gave up” anything in qualifying to benefit them for the race there. If so, they would have gone for more straight line speed, like Ferrari did actually.

      But it was clear that the Red Bull had the better tyre life and Max could use that to really ramp up the pressure on Sainz, knowing that if he wouldn’t be passing on track, he would most likely take him in the pitstop. Or just come back later at him on fresher tyres and do the job.

    3. This is exactly why all the talk of aerodynamics is overblown. The Red Bull car, while fast, is not that much quicker in qualifying. It’s still the best car as @tifoso1989 notes, but it’s not like Pérez is filling out the front rows in it – which he is often doing in the races. But it’s just so ridiculously kind on the tyres that it’s almost incomprehensible no other team can even come close to replicating that.

  3. I saw parallels to Canada 2022 where Sainz was chasing Verstappen in a quicker Ferrari while Verstappen was chasing Sainz in a quicker Red Bull.

    In both cases it was Sainz that locked up.

    At Monza he would have probably lost track position in the pitstops anyways but I felt that he made it a bit easy for his rival.

  4. You did great Carlos but rationally you should probably have left Max go by and concentrate in defending from Checo. Your tyres would have been in much better shape and maybe you could have defended successfully from Checo and make second. What irks me is that Charles never tried the slightest attempt on Max or Checo when he was right behind, instead he waited until they were gone and your tyres were ruined to go full tilt on you. I was extremely pleased that you managed to keep him behind in spite of DRS and the state of your rubber.

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