Sainz: Points finish was a welcome surprise for McLaren

13-05-2019 18:14
by Jake Williams-Smith
Sainz: Points finish was a welcome surprise for McLaren

Carlos Sainz has admitted that a points finish at his home race in Spain came as a surprise after struggling throughout the race.

Despite finishing the race in eighth-place, the Spaniard said he had not been comfortable with the car mid-way through the race and that the safety car came at just the right time for the team to capitalise on strategy.

“It was a strange race because halfway through the race, I was struggling to hold on in P11, I had [Daniel] Ricciardo on my back and I was struggling in the final sector with the rear end and the wind,” Sainz told Autosport.

“Then after the Safety Car came out, we executed a good strategy, [we] profited from every opportunity we had to overtake the two Toro Rossos, a Haas and Ricciardo."

“I had to bring home some points, but honestly I thought they were not on the cards. Ricciardo was massively quicker than us in the final sector, I couldn’t keep him behind. At one point he made it by, we got him back, [then the] Safety Car came out."

Sainz says he also felt the boost of the home crowd cheering him on in the closing stages of the race.

“I think with the help of the crowd and wanting to go forward, I made it stick three times into Turn 1. When you have no pace and you still manage to score points I think it’s even more meritable because I did just three or four overtaking moves when I could and even held onto Kvyat on the last lap when he was on our tail."

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