F1 | Belgian GP | Carlos Sainz from P1 to P3: "We couldn't put a stronger fight and we had to survive"
Ferrari was astonished by Red Bull´s pace and could only survive.
Carlos Sainz Jr was Ferrari´s leading man to score big points today. After inheriting Verstappen´s pole yesterday, the Spanish driver had a unique chance to aim for a victory at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps with championship contenders starting 14th and 15th. However, things did not turn out as expected for the Italian outfit.
It only took Verstappen less than half of the race to clinch the first position with a storming pace that could not be rivalled.
About this, Sainz Jr believes he had a good start and restart but accepts the Red Bulls were in a league of their own that Ferrari had to survive.
"I had a good start and a good restart after the safety car, but the pace was just not there. Red Bull, Max and Checo, they were in a league of their own today, and unfortunately, we couldn't put a stronger fight and we had to survive.”
With the championship gap between the Scuderia and the Austrian team getting bigger and bigger with eight races to finish the season, Sainz believes there are lessons that will have to be learnt.
“We will have to learn why at this track we were not competitive."
Ferrari clearly struggled with tyres management today more than their competitors. Erratic calls with Leclerc prove the Italian team were unsure how to overcome the difficulties during the race.
Sainz points out overheating as the main problem and accepts the podium as a big positive.
"We had a lot of overheating with the tyres, and we were sliding around a lot. For some reason our package was not quite there this weekend, but in the end we finished on the podium and we will take it.
"My first two laps were strong, but then we immediately went into high degradation. And then I realised that we were degrading more than what we should."