British Grand Prix – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz acknowledged he benefitted from the mid-race Safety Car as he rose from P13 on the grid.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz recovered from a relatively lacklustre qualifying session on Saturday, where he qualified P13, to finish P6 in Sunday’s race at the F1 British GP at Silverstone.
Sainz was one of the drivers yet to stop when the Safety Car came out on Lap 20, diving in to the pits when it was deployed to cover the recovery of the beached Alfa of Antonio Giovinazzi.
Taking on the Hard tyre, Sainz’s loss of track time for a normal speed pitstop meant he resumed the race in P7 and gained a place from Sebastian Vettel when the Ferrari driver collided with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
He held on to bring his McLaren home in P6. Teammate Lando Norris, who started ahead of the Spaniard, didn’t encounter the same luck, having ditched his Soft tyres on Lap 13 before the Safety Car.
“Not bad after starting 13th.” he smiled afterwards. “I will say it was a very good start.”
Having started on the Mediums before his switch to Hards, he said: “I was managing pace behind the Soft runners, knowing I had to show my pace later in the race.”
“When they pitted, I started doing quick laps which opened the Safety Car window up. We were on a 1 stop, everyone else was on a 2. And then the Hard tyre didn’t degrade.”
Engaging in a great fight with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo over the P6 position in the second half of the race, Sainz said: “Daniel was really quick on the Hard tyres and I struggled to keep him behind. He was really fast down the straights – I don’t know why. We were clipping and dragging a lot. But, in the end we made it.”