Sainz helped by DNFs and Safety Cars "but take nothing away from performance"

19-11-2019 12:40
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Sainz helped by DNFs and Safety Cars but take nothing away from performance

After a very impressive drive in Brazil which saw him go from 20th place to a first career podium finish, Ross Brawn was full of praise for Carlos Sainz, even though the Spaniard was helped as the race came his way.

Sainz started from the back of the grid after failing to set a time in qualifying due to a failing power unit. When the race got underway, the 25-year-old went to work, overtaking cars left and right.

He was also the only car on the grid to go for a one-stop strategy and he made it work, gaining a lot of track position under the two Safety Cars. Particularly after the second Safety Car, which was caused by the two Ferraris taking each other out, Sainz gained a lot of positions, moving up to fifth place.

This then turned to fourth place as Lewis Hamilton spun Alex Albon around, and it even became a P3 post-race as Hamilton was penalised for the move on Albon.

"It was a hugely impressive race from Carlos and the fact that he had some help from safety cars, retirements and accidents, can take nothing away from what was a bravura performance," Brawn wrote in a column on Formula1.com.

"He started from last on the grid and then went on to be the only driver to go the distance making just one pit stop, and without resorting to the hardest Pirelli compound. He attacked in the early stages and then defended to the last and delivered a faultless performance from start to finish.

"He had a particularly exciting tussle with Kimi Raikkönen over the last few laps, with the Finn on quicker tyres that were also 20 laps newer than the Spaniard’s."

The result also saw McLaren clinch fourth place in the constructors' championship in what has been their best season in the turbo-hybrid era.

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