May 29, 2016

Carlos Sainz ends P8 in a Monaco race that could have been much better

Trouble in pits affect his Grand Prix

Monaco, May 29th 2016.- Carlos Sainz finished the Monaco Grand Prix in eighth position after being on top of the challenging weather conditions and the crashes happening around. With this result, the Spaniard improves his 2015 performance. He was tenth then. The Spaniard scores points for the second race in a row, the first time he's able to do so this season. Nevertheless, things could have turned out much better without the trouble experienced in his two pit-stops, in which he lost track position. Up until then, he had been aiming for a podium finish.

Race started behind the Safety-Car as rain had been falling for more than an hour. The race director chose to neutralize the first laps for safety reasons. All drivers started on full-wet tyres. The Safety-Car switched off its lights at the end of Lap 7 and that was the beginning of the proper GP. Green flag turned out to be shorter than expected as Jolyon Palmer lost control of his Renault in the main straight and crashed at Sainte Devote, causing a Virtual Safety-Car period that would last for two more laps.

With green flag back in the air, action was normalized and track's surface started to dry. Carlos was sixth at that time, but moved up to fourth with his rivals' stops. The Spaniard was quicker on full-wet tyres than the drivers that had pitted for intermediates thanks to the 'train' generated by Felipe Massa. Carlos made the most out of his old tyres so he could exit the Pit-Lane on front of that group. He stopped on Lap 11, but something went wrong on the front right tyre. The Toro Rosso driver lost nearly six seconds in that stop and consequently rejoined behind Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Pérez.

Nine laps later, and with track completely dried, Carlos pitted again to get rid of the intermediates and use a set of supersoft slicks. He would get to the chequered flag with them. Once again, the operation was problematic and the driver fell to tenth, even though he climbed up to eighth because some drivers ahead pitted to.

Carlos was much quicker than drivers in front, than Hülkenberg, Rosberg and Alonso, but overtaking is nearly impossible in Monaco. From Lap 30 to Lap 78, the Spaniard stayed at the back of them without making any mistakes. He finished eighth, just behind Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

These were Carlos first quotes after stepping out from the STR11:

"I'm not happy. I think we did a very good race, it was trouble free. But then we lost places in our two pit-stops, so I don't really understand what happened there. We'll have to look at it, but we could have scored more points and we didn't take it. In fact, the two Force Indias finished ahead of us. I couldn't have done more than what I did. I stayed out of the wall and went as fast as I could".

"On slick tyres, I was much quicker than cars in front, but here is impossible to overtake. We only had to do a good strategy and stay away of crashes. That's what I tried to do from the beginning. I tried to attack with the slicks, I was much quicker than Fernando, Nico and Hülkenberg, but there was no way and it was a huge risk to waste four points".

"Up until now, we had been doing everything almost perfect in terms of pit-stops, strategies and these things, but things didn't work out well here. We'll have to sit down and go through what happened, but obviously I'm not happy. If you take a look at where Pérez finished his race, knowing he was behind us before the first pit-stop, you can conclude that today we could have done much more".

After the Monaco Grand Prix, Formula 1 will now travel to America to live the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. Next time cars roar will be on the 10th, 11th and 12th of June.