Ferrari accepts Sainz’s refusal to create a gap with Leclerc
Carlos Sainz won his first Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend at Silverstone, after overtaking his teammate Charles Leclerc for the race lead ten laps from the finish. This maneuver was carried out on the first lap of recovery, the Spaniard taking advantage of his soft tires to get the upper hand on the #16-stricken Ferrari fitted with worn hard tires.
The Scuderia had indeed chosen to keep Leclerc on track, for fear of losing big by making a double stop, betting on the fact that he had relatively fresh tires and that he could manage to stay ahead of the rest of the peloton. . In an attempt to help, the team even specifically asked Sainz to create a ten-car gap to the leader.
But Sainz then replied that he himself was under pressure from Lewis Hamilton, before adding: « Please don’t ask that. Please, please stop making it up, stop making it up. I’m under pressure too. »
Asked about the subject after the race, Mattia Binotto explained that the order was intended to give more room to a Leclerc who would have been in difficulty on his rubbers. However, the Italian-Swiss director acknowledges that executing such an instruction would have been complicated: « We have total confidence, we know he is doing the best he can for the team, for himself of course, but for the team. »
« He clearly proved it a few laps earlier by swapping [les positions] without discussion, and even stopping earlier than Charles in the first stop, there was no discussion, because he has complete confidence in the team, in the way we act and in the way he Acts like. »
« So again, I’m very happy. I know he tried his best. There was probably no way for him to give Charles space. I think he tried his best. best for a Ferrari win here at Silverstone. »
The Safety Car in front of Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Pérez
After the event, Sainz insisted on the risk that he believed would have represented losing the aspiration of his team-mate, especially against Hamilton: « I tried to explain to them that I had behind me probably the fastest man on the track today. »
« If I went back ten meters I could lose a little draft. And if he passed me, Charles was also easy prey. So my decision was to take the lead as soon as possible, because I knew I I was going to take the lead going into Turn 6, with the grip I had with the softs, and from there try not to affect his race by taking the lead. »
« I asked the team: ‘Leave it to me, I’ll handle it as cleanly as possible.’ and sometimes the team can tell you something that you don’t approve of and you just do your own thing because you really believe it. But I have great confidence in the team and today we had a very good race, and we trust each other in these kinds of scenarios, as you have seen.