Carlos Sainz finished third on the podium in Miami after what had been a tough couple of weeks for the Ferrari driver.
Sainz started the Miami GP from P2, but got jumped by Max Verstappen on the very first lap. Thereafter, he held on to the final podium spot throughout the race, despite being under pressure from Sergio Perez.
The Spaniard’s last two outings were disastrous. In both Australia and Imola, his race ended on the very first lap. Even in Miami, his weekend went off to a poor start after he suffered a big crash during FP2 on Friday.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) May 9, 2022
However, he bounced back well to stand on the podium alongside teammate Charles Leclerc on Sunday, and has earned plaudits for his strong defensive work in the closing stages.
“Exactly what I needed, a clean race,” Sainz said after the race. “Decent start for starting on the right hand side, there was zero grip there. From there I did a clean race. I was probably not a 100% physically coming from the crash on Friday, so I had to take it easy at some stages of the race.”
Getting a podium finish was extremely important, says Carlos Sainz
It was evident that Sainz was low on confidence ever since his horror outing in Melbourne last month. It was vital for him to pick himself and get back in the fight for wins and podiums once again.
When Lando Norris’ crash brought out the safety car on lap 41, Perez pitted for new medium tyres. To the surprise of Ferrari fans, Sainz and the Scuderia made the call to stay out. What followed was immense defensive work from Sainz to hold his position and get home the P3 finish for himself.
Our Minister of Defense! Great race for him too and a great come back from the last two races with a podium. So proud of him ❤️🌶
— greta; (@gretacacurri) May 8, 2022
“He was on a fresh medium, and I was on very used hards,” the 27-year old continued. “The pace advantage he had was huge. I think I did some smart defending and it worked well for staying ahead and getting a podium, that was important.”
Carlos Sainz is fifth in the Drivers’ Championship Standings with 53 points to his name. The next round of F1 is a home race for the smooth operator, as the sport travels to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix.