Sainz: In a normal race, we would still have finished second
McLaren driver Carlos Sainz was incredibly proud of his team after finishing in second place at the Italian Grand Prix, claiming that the pace of the car would have taken them to the same position under normal circumstances.
The Spaniard followed up his best-ever qualifying on Saturday, when he put his MCL35 on P3 on the grid, with the best race of his career, crossing the line behind Pierre Gasly.
The race at Monza was red-flagged following a massive shunt from Charles Leclerc, dropping Sainz to sixth place at the standing restart.
The Spaniard fought back, as race leader Lewis Hamilton also served his 10-second stop-and-go penalty, and Sainz even came within touching distance of overtaking Gasly for the win on the final lap.
He said post-race: "It's incredible how I'm quite disappointed with P2.
"You wouldn't have believed that I would've got the chance to fight for a victory today, we were very, very close. But honestly, with a normal race I think I would've got P2 behind Lewis because we had really good pace. [We had a] Bit of bad luck with the safety car but then we did a good job to recover it after the red flag.
"Very happy with P2, we've been super quick all weekend. I feel like I could dominate the midfield pretty easily today so I have to be happy with that."
A win for McLaren would have meant the team's first victory since Jenson Button at Brazil in 2012, but Gasly held off Sainz just enough to claim a famous win for AlphaTauri.
"I think especially getting back from P6 to P2 and then chasing Pierre and managing to finish three or four-tenths behind on the flag, we need to be proud of that," Sainz continued.
"We need to be proud of the pace of the car. And then that red flag, I think I would've finished behind Lewis today [had it not happened], but it is what it is."
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