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Sainz rues wrong strategic call

NEWS STORY
03/05/2021

Wrong call on tyre strategy leaves Sainz struggling, as Spaniard fails to finish in the points for the first time this season.

Unlike his Ferrari teammate, Carlos Sainz opted to start the Portuguese Grands Prix on the soft tyre as opposed to the medium.

Pushing a hard pace on the red-banded rubber, the Spaniard ran as high as fourth in the early stages before being passed by Lando Norris and Sergio Perez.

The first driver to make a scheduled pit stop, Sainz, who once again went against the majority and switched to mediums as opposed to hards, was able to rise up to seventh again, before he was left susceptible to those who stopped later (and for hards), and one by one the likes of Ocon, Alonso, Ricciardo and Gasly were able to pick him off with relative ease.

"Hindsight is a beautiful thing," he admitted, "and on hindsight, clearly the hard today was simply a stronger tyre, particularly on our car. We struggled a lot with the mediums, and we need to still understand why we were so prone to graining on that medium tyre, why the combination of the medium with our car was just not working well today.

"In hindsight, for sure we would have done things very differently," he continued, "but with the data we had available before the race, we thought that a soft/medium strategy was going to be OK, and it clearly wasn't.

"A lot to analyse and a lot to go through now in these next three or four days," he added. "I'm sure we will take the right conclusions and improve going forward.

"I know that today, it was in our hands and in my hands to score a top-five, top-six result with a decent race execution and the pace we've shown all weekend. So to come out with zero points and an 11th place, it's difficult to think about the positives."

"We tried an undercut with Sainz but it didn't work out," admitted team boss, Mattia Binotto, "and because of that he had to push too much and we had problems with tyre consumption."It's not the result we thought or hoped for.

"Sainz maybe could have held back a bit more after the pit stop because he had plenty of time after that, but he and the team really wanted to overtake Norris so maybe we should have handled that differently."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Portimao, here.

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