Ferrari revealed that the tactic of Carlos Sainz to deliberately slow down to maintain Lando Norris within the non-Singapore GP DRS zone Formula 1 it was entirely the Spaniard’s idea.
Sainz’s brilliant victory in Singapore on Sunday was built on smart driving, which included ensuring Norris was within DRS range in the closing stages so the McLaren driver could help keep the Mercedes cars at bay.
At one point, after Norris lost ground after playing defensively against George Russell, the Spaniard had to retreat drastically to get the McLaren chasing him back on his trail. His plan worked perfectly, as Russell was unable to find a way to overtake the McLaren driver, before his error on the final lap, hitting the wall, took him out of the race.
Although Ferrari helped to tactically manage most of the Singapore GP, which included pulling back the field and attempting to avoid the undercut by using Charles Leclerc as a ‘squire’, the Italian team said Sainz’s DRS strategies in the end of the race were yours.
“It was Carlos’ idea,” said the head of Scuderia, Fred Vasseur. “I don’t want to say it’s obvious, but he knew he was taking more risks with the Mercedes than with Norris. With Norris, we had the same tires and almost the same pace from the first lap. We weren’t really at risk unless we lost the tires, so it was a smart move by Carlos to keep Norris in the DRS.”
Sainz himself said that there was no doubt that he would have lost the victory if either of the Mercedes cars, on new medium tires at that stage of the race, had overtaken Norris.
“It’s always complicated because you always put yourself under extra pressure,” he explained.
Press conference with Lando Norris, McLaren Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG
Photo de: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images
“You know you can’t have a crash [de rodas] and cannot make a single mistake or slip up, because that would mean that Lando would have a chance to overtake if he is in DRS. So at that point you decide to give him DRS, hoping that will be enough to keep the Mercedes behind.”
“There was one lap in particular where I think Lando defended in turn 16-17, and then I had to slow down a lot in turn 1-2-3 to give him the DRS again. I think that maneuver really saved my race and also Lando’s P2 because if it hadn’t been for that, I would have been out too. If the ‘Mercs’ had overtaken Lando, I think they could have overtaken me quite easily.”
Sainz summer meeting
Sainz’s second F1 victory came after an impressive increase in performance since the summer break – which included pole positions in Italy and Singapore. Reflecting on what has changed, the Spaniard believes that a meeting with his engineers in August was instrumental in helping them focus on exactly what was needed to get more out of the SF-23.
“In terms of understanding the car and driving, I think before the summer break there was already a decent feel for everything,” he said. “I sat down with my engineers over the summer break and we said, ‘okay, what can we do to start organizing the whole weekend, because clearly we have a lot of pace, we were doing some good things, but we were never organizing everything’. “
“Let’s see what we can do to improve this and start to have consistent performances in the second half, because the potential is clearly there this year. Zandvoort was a very good weekend. Monza was almost perfect and here I feel like it was the end perfect weekend. I’m very happy and proud to know that when you work, analyze and also have the speed I had this weekend, it always pays off.”
Lando Norris, McLaren, 2nd position, Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, 1st position, Frederic Vasseur, Team Director and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, 3rd position, on the podium
Photo de: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Vasseur believes that the way Sainz adapted to the car’s setup over the last two weekends was fundamental to the improvement.
“The biggest difference is that he’s been ready since the first lap of FP1,” he said. “Zandvoort was also the same – although he didn’t do FP1 [no GP da Holanda]we had the rookies’ FP1, but from the first lap of FP2 he was there and that’s the best way to prepare the quali.”
“If you don’t have that many sets of tires, that means if you’re starting the weekend a step behind, of course you have to go over the limit. And also, for the team, in terms of preparation, it’s the best approach you can take.”
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The Post Ferrari praises Sainz for winning tactic involving Norris
Originally Posted on motorsport.uol.com.br