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Carlos Sainz took pole position ahead of the Italian Grand Prix and, with Charles Leclerc also in third, hopes were high ahead of the race.
In the end, it was third and fourth for the red cars, which had an updated livery this weekend, in tribute to the manufacturer’s Le Mans victory. Sainz headed the charge for the Scuderia, after a tough battle not only against the two Red Bulls, which eventually got past, but his own teammate as well.
After huge pressure from Max Verstappen early in the race, the Spaniard crumbled and went wide at the first corner, giving the perfect opportunity to the championship leader to get past. While Verstappen pulled away, Sainz fell into the clutches of Leclerc and Sergio Perez.
The Mexican overtook both Ferrari drivers to get up to second, but the battle between the teammates raged on until the chequered flag fell.
Comments from Sainz on his Monza performance
After his first podium at Monza as a driver of Ferrari, Sainz spoke about his day and his battles all the way through the Grand Prix.
It was very, very tough. It cannot get any tougher than what it was today.
Honestly, the whole race I was pushing very, very hard to keep the Red Bulls behind. That obviously made me use the rear tyres a lot, trying to keep up with them and trying to keep them behind.
In the end I ended up paying a bit the price with the rear tyres, but I did everything I could to defend with all the cars that I could. I brought it home in the end in P3, but it was a tough one for sure.
Sainz fine with Leclerc fight
One of the most intriguing parts of the race was the fight between Sainz and Leclerc in the closing stages of the race. Despite suspicions that team orders might be used, they were not and the teammates battled up to the finish line. In the end, just one tenth of a second split them, with Sainz staying on top.
It’s always been a pleasure to race Charles whenever we’ve had the chance and today was the same. A great racer, same as Max and Checo. We had fun out there today and I hope you guys enjoyed it also.
THE FERRARIS ARE WHEEL-TO-WHEEL!
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 3, 2023
The problems of Ferrari according to Sainz
Finally, Sainz spoke about the issues that Ferrari have had throughout the season, which need to be resolved for the rest of the season, so that the team can compete for more podiums.
I think we just need to keep working on our pace, on our tyre understanding. I think today, it was obvious that we were wearing the tyres a bit more and we were just lacking a bit of pace.
But it’s definitely a big step forward compared to Zandvoort. This weekend we’ve been best of the rest, which is a good result for the team given the circumstances.
Today’s results keep Carlos Sainz fifth in the drivers’ standings, six points ahead of Charles Leclerc. It was a significant result for the Italian team, as it moved up to third in the constructors’ championship, eleven points ahead of Aston Martin.
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