Carlos Sainz Jr. hailed his charge to sixth place in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix as “incredible” despite missing out on his best Formula 1 finish in the closing laps of the race.
Sainz bounced back from qualifying 15th to rise up the field with a bold strategy call, sticking with the wet compound tires throughout amid treacherous conditions at Interlagos.
The Spaniard found himself running fourth in the closing stages, only for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to battle past in the dying moments of the race.
Despite ending up sixth, Sainz was delighted with the result as he matched his best finish in F1.
“The rain definitely helped. All the teams except Mercedes did a rain dance,” Sainz told NBCSN after the race.
“I’m super happy with this P6. We were in front of Red Bull despite being 2.5 seconds slower. We brought it home in P6 which was incredible.”
The race in Brazil was red flagged twice and featured a number of safety car periods due to heavy rain and on-track incidents, leading to questions from the drivers about the decisions taken by race control.
Sainz said he understood the complaints, but that the calls made by the officials were right.
“[It’s] much harder than people expect,” Sainz said when asked about racing in wet conditions.
“I see complaints, why don’t people race. When you see an accident like Kimi [Raikkonen’s], red car in front of 300km/h, 10 meters in front of me – it’s not easy to keep it straight.”