Sainz: Ferrari should have been 'more patient' with Monaco strategy


Carlos Sainz says he was surprised by Ferrari's decision to call him in for a switch from hards to mediums after 33 laps, insisting the team just have been "more patient".

Sainz held his own in fourth place just behind Alpine's Esteban Ocon during the first half of his Monaco Grand Prix.

As the pair battled in the early stages of the race, Sainz hit the Alpine driver's car as they barreled into the Nouvelle Chicane, a contact that damaged the Ferrari's front wing endplate.

However, having started the 78-lap event on the hard tyre, Sainz justifiably pressed on hoping to extend his stint to the full life of his hard tyres.

Ferrari made several dummy calls, urging Sainz to box to force Ocon into pitting, but Alpine didn't take the bait.


But when the Scuderia's pitwall called in Sainz for real after 33 laps, just after Ocon had suffered a slow stop, the call backfired and left the Ferrari charger once again chasing the Frenchman.

"This is exactly what I talked about!" said Sainz, fuming over the radio after rejoining the track.

When his Ferrari race engineer Riccardo Adami told him that the target was to cover Hamilton, Sainz quipped: "I don’t care about Hamilton, I was quick!".

Sainz felt that remaining out on the track and running in clean air would have offered him a better chance of overhauling Ocon.

"We had a bit of an eventful race always chasing Ocon and on the gearbox of Ocon," he explained.

"I saved my tyres well, the hard tyres, and it looked like he had a slow pitstop and I was flying on the in-lap and we decided to go for the overcut.

"Probably, given the pace I was showing, maybe we could've been a bit more patient but it's how it is."

Unfortunately, when a light drizzle set in over Monte Carlo, Sainz had to double stack behind teammate Charles Leclerc when the pair stopped for intermediates on lap 56, which set him back to P8 where he finished the race.

"I think Monaco, first of all is a bit of a lottery, and today was a bit of a lottery for everyone - probably I just got the worst out of it," he added.

"The first pitstop is debatable - I will go back and review because obviously I was very quick on the in-lap and felt like I still had a lot more lap time to come in clean air.

"I had been doing all that management, to suddenly pit, it left me frustrated.

"But I shouldn't have showed it on the radio, first of all, always due to frustration and then the second pitstop, as I said before, it's a lottery.

"It's not getting it right or wrong it was one lap too early, one lap too late."

Leclerc, who concluded his home race where he started, in sixth place, said that hindsight is always 20/20 when it comes to assessing a race strategy after the facts.

"I think it was hard for both of us," said the Monegasque.

"Then, with the benefit of hindsight, you always do something different, especially with a track like this where it’s very easy to criticise the strategy after the race I think, because if you stop early and there’s a safety car, most of the time this is what happens and then you’re like ‘why did we stop so early?’

"We knew that this was tricky. Today we waited for a safety car and surprisingly nobody did a mistake and there was no safety car.

"So, it’s like this. Yes, with the benefit of hindsight, I would have changed things, but we don’t know when we are in the car at that time and I think today was the right choice."

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