Carlos Sainz gets his maiden podium for Scuderia Ferrari for his best ever career result, tied with his second-place obtained last season with McLaren at Monza.
The Spanish driver didn't have an easy weekend: ending the qualifying session in P4, he started the race as third due to his teammate and pole-sitter Charles Leclerc not being able to take part in the race because of driveshaft issues, potentially consequences of yesterday's crash in Q3. He gained another position after Valtteri Bottas's retirement due to pit stop-related problems.
Sainz wasn't completely satisfied with his weekend, as he said during the post-race interviews: "It is a good result. If you would have told me before coming to Monaco that I would finish second, I would have definitely taken it."
His happiness was tainted by both regret for yesterday's missed shot at pole position, with a promising lap time deleted because of red flags, and sadness for his teammate: “But it is just the whole circumstances of the weekend: having Charles on pole, me missing out in quali yesterday, on a good lap, that it just maybe doesn't taste as good as it should."
The Spanish driver went on to praise his team's hard work: “But I'm sure that when I reflect back on the weekend, I will be very happy and proud of the weekend. I think Ferrari, as a team, they need to be proud about the car, and the step they have done this year.”
He felt the pressure of being the only Ferrari driver starting, especially because he wanted to boost everyone's morale: "When you see the other car, not starting from pole, all of a sudden the responsibility obviously relies on you trying to salvage the weekend. One car is out starting from pole and you want to give the team at least a podium."
He concluded analysing his race and highlighting the importance of a good race start:
"It was all about getting the start right then, and around the pitstops there was a lot of traffic and we were lapping the cars very quickly. Obviously, Valtteri had the pit stop but even without that I was feeling really good with the car today."
"I felt like the team at least deserved a podium this weekend.”
In a press statement released by Ferrari, Sainz insisted on the importance of his final result: "All of us here at the track and back home in Maranello are working incredibly hard to be competitive and to make our way back to the top."
"From my side, I am obviously happy with P2 because I think it was the maximum we could achieve today from where we started. We are still missing the final step that we all want to make, but if we keep pushing like this I’m sure we will get there sooner rather than later!"
With Sainz's third career podium, Ferrari have managed to almost close up the gap in the constructor standings to McLaren in third place, now only two points above the Italians.