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Sainz Triumphs in Australia Amid Career Uncertainty

Sainz’s Philosophy: ‘Life Can Be Really Kind’

25/03/2024

Facing a future without Ferrari and recent surgery, Carlos Sainz defies odds with a remarkable win in Australia, showcasing resilience and skill.

What a paradox Carlos Sainz finds himself in. At the start of the year, he was informed that Ferrari would not retain him for the next season, opting instead for Lewis Hamilton; just a fortnight ago, the Spaniard also underwent an appendectomy.

Yet, against all odds in Australia, Carlos Sainz delivered the best race of his career (alongside his victory in Singapore last year), outperforming his teammate Charles Leclerc in both qualifying and the race.

The most in-form driver on the grid, excluding Max Verstappen, finds himself without a seat for next year. Undeservedly so…

These past two weeks have been a rollercoaster for Carlos Sainz – and “not just these past two weeks,” he clarifies.

“It’s the start of the year in general – because the year kicked off with the news of my contract not being renewed. Then, you get back into shape. You prepare for the season start. And then you arrive in Bahrain. You secure a good podium. You think: ‘Well, the season is off to a good start, and I can keep up the momentum.’ And suddenly, boom, you miss a race in Saudi Arabia, due to the surgery.”

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“I spent long days in bed, not knowing if I would make it back in time. Obviously, there are many unknowns. Will I return in form? Will I still feel good with the car?”

“And suddenly, you come back and you win. I said it on the radio – life can sometimes be a rollercoaster, but it can also be really kind and good to you. You just have to let things happen and enjoy the moment.”

From the race’s onset, capitalizing on Max Verstappen’s braking issues, Carlos Sainz overtook the Red Bull. Would he have overtaken Verstappen regardless of the Dutchman’s braking issues?

“I had a good start from the dirty side of the grid, but obviously, I couldn’t put Max under pressure in Turn 1, but from there, it was a kind of very strategic first lap. And then, you want to protect the tire from graining.”

“But at the same time, I knew I had the pace to challenge Max. And I thought, with the DRS power here, if I can get into the DRS zone after the first lap… we could put some pressure on him.”

“He made a mistake in Turn 3, which allowed me to stay in the DRS zone – and I felt quite fast. And then, yes, I don’t know when his brakes started to catch fire but in the dirty air, obviously, it’s not the same as in clean air with a big gap in front of you.”

Did Carlos Sainz immediately notice that the Red Bull had a technical issue?

Sainz Triumphs in Australia Amid Career Uncertainty

“I saw it… he was obviously pushing on the first lap, and I thought, ‘OK, I’ll push with him and battle this car.’ But it’s clear that if he pushed that hard, it could have been because of the brakes, as he said. I don’t know, but it felt good to overtake him, with or without brake issues, because it’s difficult, you know, to pass Max on the track.”

“This is what we’ve been saying from the start – if you’re there and you can put Red Bull under pressure, you can sometimes make it happen. But you have to be there, and we need to be there more often if we want to win.”

Would Sainz have won even without Max Verstappen’s retirement?

Sergio Perez believes that even without Max Verstappen’s braking issues, the victory could have possibly gone to Carlos Sainz. Does the Spaniard share this view?

“Our car really performed well this weekend. But it will be difficult to maintain this level at all circuits until we bring an upgrade to close the gap we saw in Bahrain and Jeddah. But in Australia, from the first lap, we felt we had a winning car.”

“And even though Red Bull was also fast and in pole, their lap on Saturday was not out of reach for us.”

“Yes, there will be circuits where we are strong, as we saw last year. And this year, it seems that our race pace is better even on circuits where we are stronger. With a good development program, I hope we can challenge Red Bull more often.”

This is Ferrari’s first one-two finish in Australia since 2004, in front of a crowd largely supporting the tifosi, given the strong Italian community in Melbourne…

“Yes, it’s incredible. The support we receive in countries like Australia, from the tifosi, is something really, really special. There are so many fans wearing red. It almost feels like Monza. It makes a difference for us, for the team, to have all this support and to go to places where we feel so loved and supported. It’s always a very nice feeling for the drivers, but also for the mechanics and all the team members.”

Sainz Triumphs in Australia Amid Career Uncertainty

Sainz Triumphs in Australia Amid Career Uncertainty. Sainz Triumphs in Australia Amid Career Uncertainty

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