Crash drama saves Carlos Sainz in Austria! Ferrari beaten despite Formula 1 podium?

While Charles Leclerc suffered a setback at the Formula 1 weekend in Spielberg, Carlos Sainz saved the honor of Scuderia Ferrari with a podium finish. However, the Spaniard benefited from the collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in front of him, which caused Verstappen to lose several places and Norris to even abandon the race altogether. “The podium is of course a bonus. If nothing had happened, we would probably have ended up in fifth place on the track. Thanks to the battle at the front, it’s a podium,” Sainz said honestly in retrospect, assessing the lucky result.

Carlos Sainz in the fight with Mercedes: We have to take the next step!

At the start, Sainz initially lost his fourth place to Lewis Hamilton. But he got it back on lap 6 because Hamilton overtook him in the first corner off the track. From then on, Sainz drove in fourth position for almost the entire race in a tight package between the two Mercedes.

“We were faster than Lewis, but a little slower than George. Our race pace was half a tenth or a tenth slower than his,” analyzed the Ferrari driver. “It’s really close against Mercedes. In the last two weekends, the fastest Mercedes was a little faster than the fastest Ferrari. So we have to make a step in Silverstone if we want to attack at the front there,” Sainz continued.

He was simply too fast! – Ferrari dropped from the top?

Oscar Piastri, however, was significantly faster than Carlos Sainz and the Mercedes. The McLaren driver only started from seventh place and, after overtaking Sergio Perez, was fourth in the row behind Russell, Sainz and Hamilton for most of the race. Towards the end of the race, Piastri was able to close the gap and was directly behind Sainz after Hamilton had to serve a five-second penalty.

After the short VSC phase following the Verstappen-Norris collision, Piastri’s McLaren had a speed advantage on the slightly fresher medium tyres and overtook Sainz’s Ferrari for second place on lap 65. In the end, it almost worked out for the race winner, George Russell, who was driving on even older hard tires at the time.

“We did our best to keep Oscar behind us. But in the last few laps he managed to get past us. He was just a bit too fast for me,” said Sainz. In Formula 1, Red Bull and McLaren are currently setting the pace. Ferrari still has some work to do and needs to bring in upgrades to get closer to the two top teams, said the Spaniard. Then they would be able to benefit even more from a failure at the top, like at the Austrian GP. “But we drove a solid race and are on the podium, so I’m happy,” said Sainz happily.

Carlos Sainz owes his place on the winner’s podium to the big bang between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen, which occurred right at the front. The collision led to heated arguments between the two F1 colleagues afterwards. How did the crash happen? Who is to blame? Christian answers the most important questions about the Austrian Grand Prix in this video:

Unfair?! Verstappen and Norris collide! Reckless? (09:23 min.)

After a mixed Formula 1 weekend in Spielberg: Ferrari plans major attack in Silverstone

Team boss Fred Vasseur was also satisfied with Ferrari’s performance after the race in Austria: “Strangely enough, I don’t see the performance as negative, even though we were far behind Max in the race. I had the feeling that we were able to get more today.” The issue of overheated tires also improved in Sunday’s race compared to the sprint on Saturday, said Vasseur. Ferrari had actually calculated that Sainz would have a tire advantage over Russell at the end, but the traffic of the lapped drivers got in the way.

Unlike in racing trim, however, the Ferrari team boss sees a need to catch up in qualifying: “We have to work on improving our qualifying pace. Because in such a tight field, a better starting position means having a better chance of finishing at the front.”

Nothing went right for Leclerc this Formula 1 weekend. He only managed to score a meager two points in the sprint. The race was a zero for the Monegasque. Nevertheless, Vasseur is still sure that they are on the right track with their vehicle development: “I have already seen exactly that after Monaco said: After a good or bad result, we don’t have to immediately change the mindset or the team. This weekend we started a class lower, but we reacted well. On Saturday afternoon we were in better form. Silverstone will accommodate us. We will bring upgrades and we will continue to push.”

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr.
The team result should be better for Ferrari in Silverstone, Photo: LAT Images

After the mixed weekend in Spielberg, the Scuderia’s attention is now focused directly on the British GP, which concludes the first triple header of the 2024 F1 season. Sainz, who saved Ferrari’s honour with his podium finish in Austria, announced: “The most important thing is that we are faster with both cars in Silverstone.”

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