Monaco Grand Prix – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was overjoyed to bring his car home in P6 after picking off both Toro Rosso drivers on the opening lap of the race.
Carlos Sainz finished P6 after a canny strategy call from McLaren, coupled with a tremendous start, paved the way for the Spaniard to clear the Toro Rosso drivers.
After being outqualified by both of the junior Red Bull drivers, Sainz managed to overtake both Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon on the opening lap by swooping past around the outside of Turn 3 into Casino Square.
Having done that, McLaren then elected not to pit the Spaniard under the early Safety Car and, instead, urged him to push hard after the Safety Car to open up a gap over the Toro Rossos. This he managed, coming out just ahead of Daniil Kvyat when McLaren did bring him at the end of Lap 30. He then ran the Medium tyres through to the end.
“Good haul of points this weekend.” said Sainz afterwards, in jubilant mood. “This feels particularly good because we went through some difficult parts this weekend and we just built it up and did a good lap of qualifying.”
“I got a really good start off the line and managed to pass the two Toro Rossos around the outside of Turn 3 which was probably the best move of my career in F1 so far. Then we put some good laps together before and after the stop and we got the pitstop just right and, yeah, P6.”
Asked to explain the strategic decision behind keeping him out on track when the Safety Car seemed to offer a less time consuming opportunity to change tyres, he said: “We knew I had some pace left after the Safety Car, which is why we didn’t pit under the Safety Car. Then I put together a strong 10 or 12 laps after the Safety Car and opened a good gap. Then we pitted when we had to pit. It was tight – I had to defend hard against Daniil Kvyat and I did the fastest lap immediately defending against his overcut. It was great timing, and a great call.”