“They let us by”– Ferrari demanded Mercedes let Carlos Sainz unlap himself as Lewis Hamilton apparently wasted his 15 laps.
Ferrari didn’t come to Austria to hunt a win, but to at least get the most out of their efforts. However, Mercedes was reportedly spoiling all their efforts, which propelled the Maranello based team to directly contact their rivals.
Carlos Sainz was lapped by Lewis Hamilton in the middle of the race, and the Spaniard was vying against his former teammate Lando Norris for a P5 win, but the Briton’s car was jeopardizing his prospects.
🇦🇹 Strong race and good result for the team. Great first stint to overcut most of the midfield. Could’ve fought for P5 at the end, but having to unlap myself with the Merc ruined our chances. Great effort anyways. Bring on next weekend!
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) June 27, 2021
“It was a very strange scenario,” Sainz told reporters after his chase of Norris proved to be in vain and he finished sixth. “I came out of the pits on the hard tyres and was really looking forward to going to catch Lando because we had the pace.
“Unfortunately, I had to let Lewis by because I got blue flags while I was getting the hards up to temperature, and from there on I expected Lewis to pull away.
“But for some reason, Mercedes were struggling a bit with tyres and I was quite a bit quicker than him. I also didn’t want to do anything stupid as I know he’s fighting for the championship and he’s in P2 in that race.
“I didn’t want to compromise his race either, but at the same time, I was getting a bit impatient because I could see we were not catching Lando and that he was not going to lap Lando.
“So at some point, together with my team, we found a way to transmit to Mercedes that it would be very nice of them if they could let us by. I got within the DRS range and then they let us by and I could start chasing Lando again.
Carlos Sainz asked Ferrari to message Mercedes
Despite acknowledging Hamilton’s aim, Sainz was getting impatient and asked his race engineer to at least talk to Mercedes, so that he can move forward.
“But I did lose 15 laps behind Lewis that were quite important for us to at least mount a charge and put Lando under pressure. So yeah, those 15 laps behind him, killing the front tyres, trying to get within DRS range, were not ideal.”
“Can you not talk to Mercedes and tell them I will pull away please?” Ferrari confirmed they would see what could be done and shortly afterwards told Sainz: “You can try to unlap yourself.”