Although he did not get to spray champagne immediately after the race, the Spaniard took his entire McLaren team up to the podium to celebrate once he had waited for clearance in a stewards' investigation of his own regarding using DRS under yellow flags.
Sainz said: "What a day! It's a weird first podium not being there straight after the race, but I'm extremely happy with our race today.
"To finish P3 coming all the way from the back of the grid was a big challenge, but we fought until the end with everything we had.
"It was a very eventful race and I think I was the only car to do a one-stop strategy. It was really difficult to hold the other midfield cars behind after the two Safety Car re-starts, but I managed to defend my position well and took advantage of what happened at the front of the race.
"Congrats to the whole team, here and back in Woking! My first podium is obviously very special but we need to keep pushing to step up there on pure pace! That's what we're really here for, that has to be our goal!"
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.