Carlos Sainz Jr. felt a podium position could have been on the cards had he taken the gamble to pit for slick tyres during the last safety car period in Sunday’s German Grand Prix, although he was still very pleased to finish fifth.
The McLaren F1 Team racer was facing the barrier at the final turn at one point as he spun his MCL34 but recovered back to the track and climbed back up the field to be involved in the battle for the podium.
However, with both Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat taking the gamble, which turned out to be an inspired one, he fell behind both, and then was forced to relinquish fourth when Sebastian Vettel came through the field in the final few laps.
Despite missing out on his maiden top three result, Sainz felt it was a well-managed race at the Hockenheimring and tyre choice decisions were generally made at the right time that enabled him to score ten well-earned points.
“Quite an intense Sunday and a good day for Formula 1,” admitted Sainz. “On my side, I’m very happy with that P5. Obviously the podium opportunity was there and now it’s easy to say we could’ve made it, but when we were P5 under the Safety Car, it was a very tough call to pit for slicks and nobody around me was stopping.
“We decided not to and the guys who were further behind had more margin to take that risk. In general we made the right decisions at the right time. Clever race and well-managed under stressful conditions, so congratulations to the team.”