'Bitter' Sainz never on the right tyre at the right time

© XPB 

Carlos Sainz delivered his fifth top-10 result of the season in Monaco, but the Spaniard was anything but satisfied with a race he described as a disaster from the start.

The Renault driver held his eighth-place position at the start, running strongly until he took on a set of ultrasoft tyres after 15 laps, eventually losing out to Max Verstappen and team mate Nico Hulkenberg in the latter stages as they passed on newer tyres.

In hindsight, Sainz believed the switch to ultras instead of supersofts had been a mistake, the choice leaving the driver feeling "bad and bitter".

"I think the race was a bit of a disaster from the start," Sainz told Movistar.

"Even though I was saving the tyres, the fronts degraded a lot. We don't know why and it's something we need to pay attention to.

"And then the decision to switch to the ultrasofts on lap 15 was not the most appropriate," he added.

On lap 54 of 78-lap event Sainz followed Renault team orders and yielded to his faster team mate running on fresher rubber. But the 23-year-old insisted his race was already done and dusted at that point.

"I think the race was lost before that. It was lost with the degradation that we had with the ultrasofts," he said.

"Even if it's Monaco, the priority is the team and score points. We scored more than McLaren today. The mistake came long before that. Letting Nico through is just an anecdote."

On the other side of the Renault garage, Hulkenberg appeared in a better mood than his team mate, but admitted that P8 reflected the day's maximum effort.

"It’s a positive feeling today. I had the possibility of running a different strategy to Carlos and it worked well," said the German.

"It was a good recovery from a not so successful qualifying yesterday and I think eighth was the best we could do in the situation.

"My first stint was very successful. It was very difficult in the middle as I had a lot of graining, but the tyre recovered and I could do some very quick laps and it brought the race back to me.

"That’s the thing with Monaco; it can be crazy or it can be like today, but we made the most of the opportunities."

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