McLaren's Sainz: Brazilian GP was definitely best race of my career

Jonathan Noble and Edd Straw
Sainz: Brazil was definitely best race of my career
Sainz: Brazil was definitely best race of my career

McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr has no doubt his charge from the back of the Brazilian Grand Prix grid to a maiden Formula 1 podium was the best of his career.

An engine problem prevented Sainz from setting a time in qualifying, but he bounced back from that and finished fourth - before gaining a further spot when world champion Lewis Hamilton was given a penalty for clashing with Red Bull's Alex Albon.

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Sainz said he had been in "full attack mode" throughout the Brazilian GP, despite committing early on to a one-stop strategy that he knew would leave him exposed at the end.

Asked by Autosport about how he rated his race, Sainz said: "My best. Definitely, because it was a normal race.

"It was dry, people were between one and two stops and we committed to a one-stop.

"I had to make moves on the first few laps and I did them. There was a move on [Sergio] Perez especially that was really, really good and from then on the tyre management kicked in.

"I managed to extend on the soft and then the management on the medium. I started passing [Lance] Stroll, passing Lando [Norris] and other people, and all of a sudden I found myself in P8.

"Then, the decision came to either pit or not and we decided not to. For once we took a bit of a gamble and this time it paid off.

"The two SC restarts were probably the most difficult restarts of my life."

Sainz: Brazil was definitely best race of my career
Sainz: Brazil was definitely best race of my career

Sainz added he had no explanation for how he was able to hold on to his place at the end of the race, with his tyres well past their best.

"I had literally no grip," he said. "I was wheel-spinning in fourth and fifth gear at the start because we were so slow, so I couldn't put any energy on the tyres.

"I got to Turn 1, locked up, just no grip, but somehow I managed to pick up the right line.

"And from then onwards it was just defend, defend, defend as much as I could and we managed to finish."

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