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Carlos Sainz thinks it’s “unfair” that Ferrari has been criticized this year for a few of its Formula 1 strategy choices, since those choices helped it win position at the French Grand Prix.
In recent races, Ferrari has been criticized for creating strategy decisions that cost it big results, like not changing Charles Leclerc’s worn-out tires during the last safety car at British Grand Prix and making a mistake in the pits that cost him the win in Monaco.
But on Saturday at Paul Ricard, Ferrari put into action an idea made before the weekend for Leclerc to use Sainz as a tow in Q3 to make up for Red Bull’s top speed advantage on the back straight.
The plan worked perfectly, and Leclerc beat Max Verstappen to the pole by 0.304 seconds. Leclerc admits that Ferrari did the primary Q3 lap wrong, but he still beat Verstappen.
Sainz will start at the rear of the grid because his power unit parts had to be changed. He says that Ferrari’s strategy in qualifying showed how “solid” the team is in terms of strategy.
Sainz said, “I think we’ve gotten plenty of criticism about our strategy.”
“And i feel it’s a bit unfair, because every team will make mistakes this season with tires, choosing tires, and everything else.
“But i feel the team’s strategy has been very strong this year, and that i think today is proof of that.”
“Also, the way Charles and therefore the team work together shows that it’s working very well and that we’re working very well together.
“It’s good to understand . i feel you should let us and Ferrari know that we had a great day.”
Ferrari chose to require the penalty to its starting position at Paul Ricard because it should still give Sainz options to make a strong comeback through the field.
When asked what a suitable level for the race would be, Sainz said, “I do not have a reference, and that we still have half the season left. With how I’m doing on the track immediately , with how briskly I was in Q2 and how fast I was in Austria and Silverstone, i do not think it’s worth thinking about this.”
“I’ll keep brooding about what I’ve been thinking about lately, which is getting back to where i used to be last year. i feel today shows that I’m getting there, and I’ll keep trying until the team tells me to prevent .
“But on behalf of me , with half the season left and every one that’s happened so far, there are still options.”