Carlos Sainz drove to a strong fourth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix. After the race, he was promoted to third following the disqualification of the second-placed finisher, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.
However, it cannot make up for the disappointment of the points lost, that the Scuderia could have scored, if Charles Leclerc had not been knocked out of the race when another driver got it completely wrong and smacked into the number 16 SF21 at the first corner.
Sainz managed to bring home a good result, going from 15th on the grid to fourth at the flag, which later that evening became a third. However, even the Spaniard was somewhat disappointed after he lost places to several drivers at the time of the pit stop immediately following the restart, as they left their pits in rather a cavalier fashion. Sainz was therefore unable to stick with the two leaders and that cost him the chance of fighting for the win.
‘What a crazy race. After starting P15 we actually had a good chance of a podium. Losing positions to Williams and AlphaTauri after the first pit stop due to the traffic in the pit lane cost us dearly. We were in the hunt for the win at that point, but instead we lost any real chance of fighting for it. In the first stint on slicks, once I was in clean air, the pace was super strong and I overcut Latifi and Tsunoda. Unfortunately in the last few laps I couldn’t do much to defend from Hamilton, as I was on very old Hard tyres, having to look after the fuel and also coming up behind the McLaren at the end of the main straight which made it impossible to defend that podium position. I feel for Charles today because he was taken out through no fault of his own and I’m sure we could’ve scored more points with both cars. Overall, the first half of this first season with Ferrari has been positive. We still need to continue to understand the car in every type of corner and condition, but I think we are definitely on the right path. We’ll keep pushing and come back recharged after the summer break.’
‘A hugely frustrating Sunday for me. I had a strong start and was in a good position, fighting for second or third. I knew that I had an opportunity today, so I took it easy and moved with caution. I was taking the first corner and no way was I expecting anyone to make that kind of move on me. Getting caught out like this is just a shame. The damage was so big that once I arrived at the braking point for the next corner, I spun straight away. Not the way we wanted to head into the summer break, but that’s how it is.’
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
‘We were in with the chance of a great result given that the rain before the start created an opportunity to fight for a top place finish. However, even though Charles adopted the right cautious approach to the initial moments after the start in the wet and had managed to move further up the order, he was hit from behind by a driver who had tackled the corner in a less than prudent manner, to say the least. It was a real shame because I think Charles could have done really well today.
‘Carlos drove a great first part of the opening lap to go from 15th to fourth. At the restart, he came in immediately for slicks and, after a pit stop in under two seconds, we released him back into the pit lane, observing the safety requirements taking into consideration all the traffic at that time. In front of our place in the pits, others seemed to have no such qualms and so we lost several places, which probably cost Carlos the chance to fight with the two drivers who finished first and second. As far as the race went from then on, fourth is a fair reflection of our race performance.
‘A very intense first half of the championship has now come to an end, during which the team reacted well after a very difficult season last year. We have a couple of young, very strong drivers who are making progress, as are we. Now we can take a short break to pause for breath and recharge the batteries, before tackling the second part of the year with renewed energy.
Finally, I want to congratulate all the Italian athletes taking part in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, especially Marcell Jacobs and Gianmarco Tamberi who have left an indelible mark on Italian sport, taking the gold medals in the 100 metres and the high jump respectively.’