Carlos Sainz admits McLaren’s one-two in the Italian Grand Prix was a bittersweet result for him as it hurts Ferrari’s chances of finishing third in the constructors’ championship.
Ferrari and McLaren have been locked in a tight battle for third for most of the season, with both picking up podiums as they lead the midfield. However, Sainz’s former team scored maximum points at Monza with a one-two led by Daniel Ricciardo — who also scored the fastest lap — and the Spaniard was left with mixed emotions by the result.
“They had the very impressive pace that they’ve shown all weekend and they were really quick right from the getaway — we could see they were going to be on the fight for the podium,” Sainz said. “They had even more pace than last year. I think last year we had good pace, but not as good as what they had this year.
“The combination of great starts with great pace, I think they managed to put together a solid weekend. For that I congratulate them.
“It is a team, as you know, I have a lot of appreciation for. And, in some ways, I will be happy for my ex-engineers and the people that I’ve been working with — they’ve been working very hard. They’ve gone through very hard moments also in that team.
“It’s nice to see a historic thing like McLaren winning again but unfortunately, they are in the fight with us and it’s the worst possible result that we could have for P3 in the championship. But we are still within reach. They’ve used their chances, and congratulations to them, and we will try and get them back in Russia.”
Ferrari finished fourth and sixth at Monza with Charles Leclerc just missing out on a podium, and team principal Mattia Binotto says the way the team executed the weekend was encouraging at a track where it expected to struggle.
“It was difficult on paper coming here,” Binotto said. “So we knew that in terms of expectations we were not expecting the best weekend. If I look at the results, certainly not positive, because McLaren gained a lot of points. But I think that there are as well some positives from the weekend.
“It is the way that the team has worked through the weekend, as well through difficult moments. So overall, I will judge it still a good weekend. From the championship point of view we cannot be happy but certainly congrats to McLaren.”