Watch: Carlos Sainz's valiant defense against Sergio Perez at the 2023 F1 Austrian GP

F1 Grand Prix of Austria
Carlos Sainz (55) leads Sergio Perez (11) on track during the 2023 F1 Austrian Grand Prix. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Carlos Sainz had a brilliant wheel-to-wheel battle with Sergio Perez in the 2023 F1 Austrian GP. Though the Spaniard was unable to secure a good position in the race due to track limit time penalties and strategy mishaps, he delivered some thrilling racing for the fans.

During the latter stages of the race, on lap 57, Sergio Perez was behind Carlos Sainz as he began to push to overtake him. Since the Red Bull was much faster than the Ferrari on the straights, Perez was able to close the gap to Sainz on several occasions.

However, right before turn four, Sainz deliberately slowed down so that he could cheat the DRS detection zone line and get the advantage for himself. After turn four, the Spaniard activated the DRS and retook his position in the race.

This particular tactic went on for several laps. Carlos Sainz was cleverly placing his car a few inches behind Sergio Perez's near the DRS detection line, just to get the DRS to keep up with the Red Bull.

Finally, on lap 61, Perez understood the tactic and braked as early as Sainz. Hence, he finally got the DRS on the Ferrari driver after turn four. Though the battle was still close, Checo managed to pull away.

This was one of the best on-track battles seen at the Austrian GP. It was clean, clever, and thrilling to witness. Furthermore, this was a fight for the last podium place of the race; hence, many fans loved the competition for a higher position.

Carlos Sainz on his battle with Sergio Perez and Red Bull's pace in the 2023 F1 Austrian GP

Carlos Sainz had a thrilling battle with Sergio Perez for the last podium finish in the 2023 F1 Austrian GP. However, he was unable to defend the position and soon lost it to the Red Bull driver. After the race, he summed up his battle with Checo and how the reigning world champions were faster than Ferrari. He said:

"Tricky conditions out there. It looked like we had decent pace. I could stay close to Checo, but the Red Bulls were just a bit too quick for us today. I think they were maybe a bit quicker, but there was a point in the middle of the race when I felt a bit more confident. My tyres degraded a bit and I couldn't stay close to Checo in dirty air."

Carlos Sainz is currently in fifth position in the drivers' championship table with 82 points, while his teammate, Charles Leclerc is in sixth place.

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Edited by Diptanil
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