Carlos Sainz ‘started laughing’ when Lewis Hamilton and George Russell recreated his Singapore DRS maneuver at Suzuka

Carlos Sainz claimed that having Hamilton instead of Russell in front of him might have been more favorable for Mercedes.


Carlos Sainz ‘started laughing’ when Lewis Hamilton and George Russell recreated his Singapore DRS maneuver at Suzuka

Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz (Via IMAGO)

On the 48th lap of the Japanese GP, Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate George Russell found themselves in a unique situation. With Carlos Sainz hot on his tail, Hamilton, who had the fastest car, needed to go past Russell. But that put the youngster in trouble of losing two track positions in succession. Russell proposed employing a DRS trail strategy to keep Sainz behind, but the plan didn’t work as they expected, resulting in a P7 finish for him while Hamilton took P5 and Sainz P6.

ADVERTISEMENT

During the Singapore GP, Carlos Sainz led the race ahead of Lando Norris in the McLaren and Mercedes-all equipped with new tire compounds. Sainz intentionally slowed down to give DRS to Norris, allowing them to form a DRS trail strategy and successfully defend against the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rusell, who was going all out for the win.

In the Japanese GP, both Mercedes attempted to employ the same tactic as Sainz, switching positions so that Hamilton could provide Russell with DRS. However, their attempt was not successful, as Carlos Sainz managed to overtake Russell, securing P6 in the Japanese GP. In a post-race interview, the Spaniard admitted that he found the situation quite amusing.

Yeah, I found it [funny], actually…I was laughing in the car because I could see Lewis backing off in 130R to give the DRS to George. I went very deep into the chicane, managed to get a bit of a switchback, and then I used the DRS, slipstream on everything to pass him. It was good fun. And yeah, it nearly cost me my own position with my tricks,” said Carlos Sainz, as reported by Autosports.com

ADVERTISEMENT

Discover: Carlos Sainz says it is a ‘shame’ dominant Max Verstappen doesn’t get penalized for breaching rules

Carlos Sainz stated that having Lewis Hamilton in front of him might have been more favorable for Mercedes

Sainz acknowledged that attacking Hamilton in the final laps wasn’t easy as he had considerable pace left. He suggested that Mercedes might have had a better opportunity if Lewis had remained behind because George struggled with pace.

Mercedes and Ferrari (via: IMAGO)
Mercedes and Ferrari (via IMAGO)

He said, “I think maybe they had a better chance, honestly speaking, if Lewis would have stayed behind. But at the same time, I would have tried a move on Lewis because George was very slow in the Esses and [Turn] eight and nine.”

Sainz admitted that the race highlighted the importance of track position, which he had lost during the pitstop. Sainz pointed out that he had been four seconds ahead of Lewis before the pitstop, but after that, he found himself eight seconds behind.

ADVERTISEMENT

I think today Suzuka proved to be quite tricky to overtake…Last two laps, I was quicker. But it gets to a point where if you’re not one second quicker, you’re not passing,” he added.

In case you missed it: