Carlos Sainz says his first Ferrari podium is bittersweet as he felt he could have been on pole position and won the race at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc’s crash in qualifying prevented the rest of the field from finishing their final laps, and Sainz had been convinced he had the lap time in hand to secure pole ahead of his teammate. Starting from fourth, Sainz was promoted to third when Leclerc failed to start, and then inherited second place when Valtteri Bottas retired, but was still slightly frustrated not to have a chance of victory.
“It’s a good feeling,” Sainz said. “Of course, today in particular with starting P4 also — P3, sorry — to finish P2 is a good result. I think the team deserves to at least get a podium this weekend. But yeah, the bittersweet feeling is still there because I’ve had the pace to put it on pole or at least to win this weekend and the fact that, in the end we didn’t quite manage it is not great.
“Also, I feel for Charles. I feel for the team, that they didn’t manage to start the day from pole. It’s a strange day — but at the same time on a personal level I have to be happy with P2 because it was the maximum that we could achieve today.”
Sainz says he’s trying to remind himself what a good result second place is for Ferrari this season — scoring a podium in his fifth race for the team — having had lower expectations before he saw the Scuderia’s pace in Monaco.
“Probably if you had told me on Wednesday that I would not be 100% happy about P2, I would have not believed it, to be honest, because we are not normally fighting for this position this year. But then, after the pace of Thursday, I genuinely thought we could win. I was so comfortable in the car and so fast on Thursday and Saturday morning, and through qualifying, I genuinely felt like, ‘OK, I can put it on pole and win my first-ever grand prix in Monaco.’
“Then, obviously, we all know what happened on Saturday and today I had to reset myself. Today I had to change a bit my expectations. I knew that starting fourth, one of the best things that could happen was to finish on the podium. And in the end it was a P2. So, in general, that’s why today I’m happy — in general with the whole weekend, I’m still missing the possibility to win.”