Carlos Sainz defends decision to disobey Ferrari order at British GP: Team managed the race really well

Carlos Sainz has defended his decision to defy Ferrari’s orders during the British Grand Prix, saying that the team executed its strategy perfectly.

Sainz secured his first ever Formula One win on Sunday after a frantic four-way battle between him, teammate Charles Leclerc, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Leclerc was leading the race at a point, but a safety car intervention meant that his advantage was neutralized.

Ferrari, fearing they would miss out on a win, decided to bring in Sainz for fresh soft tyres and kept the Monegasque driver out on track. As the safety car came in, the Italian team asked the Spanish driver to keep distance from his teammate. This suggestion was quickly dismissed by Sainz.

He would go on to regain the lead of the race from Leclerc and secure the chequered flag. Sainz said that his decision to defy the team order may have been a critical moment in the race.

“Honestly, I think today the team managed the race really well, I have nothing [bad] to say. At one point we switched positions when we were at risk of losing positions, of getting overcut by Lewis. I think we did it and executed it perfectly.”

“And then they asked me to do this 10 metres thing and I tried to explain I have behind me probably the fastest man on track today, if I drop back 10 metres, I might lose a bit of a slipstream and if he passes me, Charles is going to be dead meat also. So my decision was to get into the lead as soon as possible, I knew I could be in the lead before Turn 6 with the grip I had on the softs and go from there and try not to affect his race by getting into the lead.”

“I said to the team ‘leave it with me I’m going to [take] the lead as clean as possible,'” said Sainz.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto had no issues with the Spanish driver defying the team instructions and also praised him for his team spirit.

“We asked him to somehow help to maximise the opportunity of victory. And we told him at the time that maybe he could give some space to Charles ahead because we knew that the restart could be difficult.”

“He answered that it could have been very difficult for him because the others behind on soft tyres could have been very aggressive and to let him do it. We trust him, we knew that he’s doing the best for the team and I’d say he proved it before by swapping with no discussions.”

“When he stopped him early before Charles in the first stint there was no discussion because he trusted the team. I know that he did the best he could for a Ferrari victory here at Silverstone,” said Binotto.

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