Sainz’s second-place finish was the team’s best result since Charles Leclerc was runner-up in last season’s opening race in Austria.
The Monégasque also claimed pole position only to fail to start the race due to a left-driveshaft failure as a consequence of his qualifying crash.
Explaining Ferrari's form at the Principality, Sainz said: “It’s a combination of factors.
“We need to take into account the particularities of the circuit. We had a car that was performing very well at low speed before coming here but not as good as we all saw on Thursday.
“Immediately when I left the box on Thursday I felt a lot of confidence with the car. The team managed to nail the set-up for Thursday, that gave me confidence, also when Charles jumped in the car I think he was on it straight away.
“[That] is a very positive sign. We managed to switch on the tyres very well, so the tyre department also did a good job.
"We managed to generate downforce in such a high downforce circuit, and we were also quite competitive in the little straights.
“So it’s a combination of factors that joined together to have such a strong performance and to be fighting for pole position and the win all weekend. The whole team needs to be proud of it.”
The team was quick to note, however, that Monaco is a unique circuit and it is unlikely to be fighting at the front too often this season, suggesting a third-place battle with McLaren is more the level it expects.
Despite Leclerc’s failure to start, Ferrari is only two points behind McLaren after five races.
“Everything is going in the right direction for me with the team," added Sainz. "I am adapting quickly, but I obviously felt very sorry for Charles, I felt very sorry for the team.
“I know the team could have potentially won the race and it would have been a massive boost for everyone.
"At least we got a P2, a podium, which I am sure will help everyone’s motivation and aspirations.
“But the bittersweet feeling is coming from knowing that maybe a potential win went out of our hands, and I would have loved to have shared that podium with Charles.”
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.