Sainz tempted a few times by ‘all or nothing’ move on Piastri

© XPB 

Carlos Sainz says he was “tempted a few times” to unleash an attack on Oscar Piastri during the Monaco Grand Prix, but ultimately thought the better of risking an “all or nothing” move on the McLaren driver.

Sainz enjoyed a strong launch off the grid and managed to seize from Piastri the inside line into Ste Devote.

However, their cars made slight contact, resulting in a puncture for the Ferrari driver. The early setback looked like it would ruin Sainz's race, forcing him to retire from last place.

But a fortuitous red flag triggered by a massive crash on the run up the hill at Beau Rivage on the opening lap became Sainz's saving grace.

With the race suspended, the Spaniard was able to pit for new tyres and recoup his third place position on the grid for the event’s restart.

The reset effectively neutralized everyone’s race strategy, with drivers focusing on preserving their tyres.

While Sainz kept pace with Piastri in second place, a potential overtake seemed risky due to the unforgiving nature of Monaco's narrow track.

"I got tempted a few times, but after lap one and obviously knowing that Monaco is a bit of all-or-nothing, you know that when you go for a move, the most likely outcome is contact between the two cars and a potential DNF for the two cars," Sainz explained.

"And I felt like that was too much to lose for both Oscar and myself, and my team. So unfortunately, Monaco is like that.

"I did have my opportunities and my temptations, both in the first 15 laps and in the last 10 laps, but never really a clear chance to see how we could get out of the corner untouched. So, yeah, as I knew from Friday, my race pace was going to be good.

"I was the fastest on Friday practice in terms of race pace. Again, today, when I could show the pace, it was really, really good. But Monaco is track position and we lost it to Oscar yesterday."

Sainz described the puncture caused by his brush with Piastri as just a “slight cut”. But the three-time Grand Prix winner still considered himself lucky that the incident did not inflict aby damage on his SF-24.

"No, even when you see the tyre, it was such a slight cut that the tyre got from the contact that there was no issues with the car, no damage," he explained.

"It was just the smallest of contacts. A bit unlucky to get the puncture in a way, but then lucky to get the position back.

“From there on, honestly, it was a new race and we had our opportunities, but never really a clear one.”

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