Carlos Sainz claims he was the fastest man on the track during the 2022 F1 Canadian GP.
The Spaniard put up a purposeful chase for the win, pitting for fresh tires as the Safety Car bunched up the field following Yuki Tsuonda's crash right into the pit-lane exit. Despite his best efforts, Carlos Sainz was ultimately denied his maiden win by Red Bull man Max Verstappen and his valiant defense in the last 15 laps of the race.
Speaking to the media in a post-race press conference at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the 27-year-old admitted to feeling like the fastest man at the venue. This was backed up by the fact that Carlos Sainz took home an extra point for the fastest lap of the GP. The Ferrari driver said:
“Yeah, it was a tough, intense battle with Max [Verstappen]. I knew I had a bit of pace delta on him from the whole race and I think it was five, six laps fresher [on] tyres, but I think to overtake around here you need to be more than those two or three tenths, you know.”
“I gave it all. I was risking everything, you know, over the kerbs, close to the wall and having a few moments out there in the dirty air. I got close a couple of times but not enough to really throw a move down the inside anywhere. But I can tell you I was pushing.”
Carlos Sainz feels extended Safety Car period affected Ferrari strategy in 2022 F1 Canadian GP
Carlos Sainz feels Ferrari's choice to put him on hard compound tires for the final stint of the 2022 F1 Canadian GP did not help his fight for the win against Max Verstappen. However, he believes this was due to an extended Safety Car period that neither he nor the team predicted.
Speaking at the aforementioned press conference at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal with hindsight to back him up, the Spaniard said:
“We…I was thinking about it now. The Safety Car stayed out for a bit longer than maybe what I thought or what the team thought. By time it was green flag, there was only 16 or something laps left, which was the right number of laps to maybe try and put on a Soft, and try to overtake Max on the warm-up phase of the hard. Now, it’s easy to say. At the time, with still 20-something laps to go, the hard was definitely the fastest option to the to the flag, especially knowing that it was a bit of a fresher Hard to Max.”
“It’s a shame. I felt like also without the Safety Car, as Max said, he wouldn’t have caught me easy. I think it would have been a good battle at the end. With him catching up on me, I was ready to hang it out there until the chequered flag. I was in good pace, I was still doing 17.3s. And I think we could have made it to a flag.”
Up next for Sainz and his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc is a trip to Silverstone for the 2022 F1 British GP. Heading into the race weekend, the 27-year-old is in P5 in the World Drivers' Championship standings with 102 points.