Carlos Sainz Jr. remarked it was a ‘relief’ to conclude the Grand Prix scoring its first point of the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Following the retirements in Australia and Bahrain as well as the first-lap incident during the previous race in China, the Spaniard got off the mark at the fourth round of the season. In fact, Sainz Jr., started from the last position of the top ten, finished 7th ahead of his team mate Lando Norris, showing a consistent pace and good performance.
“On a personal level this one is a bit of a relief,” Sainz said.
“After three races where I had the pace I had today, but just for a reason I still don’t understand three consecutive runs of bad luck happened to us. Today we didn’t have any issues and we just demonstrated what we are capable of doing.
“We had great pace all weekend really. It was a shame that I couldn’t use it yesterday in qualifying because of yellow flags, but today within eight laps I was back to where I wanted to be which was attacking the Force India in front.
“Since then we showed really good pace, we were managing the tyres to the end behind Lando and Perez. That Virtual Safety Car gave Perez an extra half a second, second of lap time and we couldn’t pass him, but in general very happy.”
Lando Norris finished 8th after making a pitstop attempting to pass Perez during the late Virtual Safety Car phase. Although the strategy did not succeed, Norris underlined he has no regrets.
“We just wanted something to see if we could have a bigger advantage over Checo to get ahead as we didn’t have the straight line speed to pass him. It wasn’t a win or a loss in the end, just swapped positions basically. I’m happy with seventh and eighth, good points for the team.”
Asked about the pit-stop, Norris said: “It was both. I boxed to overtake so if he boxed I wouldn’t have boxed, and vice versa.
“I could have easily said no I don’t think you’re right, or stay out, but just a chance to do something different, just something we tried, I believed in their decision.
“I agreed with it and boxed, so I’m fine with the decision. It was a team decision. It just didn’t work out how I wanted to.”