Ferrari are back, according to Carlos Sainz, sending a warning to his team’s closest rivals in the fight for the 2022 Formula 1 World Championship.
The Spanish driver followed teammate Charles Leclerc over the line in Bahrain to help the Italian team to their first 1-2 finish since the 2019 Singapore Grand Prix.
It came at the end of a difficult weekend for Sainz, who has admitted that he has some homework to do if he is to catch up with Leclerc on track.
Sainz congratulates Ferrari but admits he has “work to do”
“First of all, congrats to Charles and congrats to Ferrari,” said Sainz post-race.
“Ferrari is back and it is properly back, with a 1-2, where the team should be and should have been over the last two years. The hard work is paying off and we are there.
“For me, it’s been a very tricky weekend, I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t have the pace today, but I managed to hold in there and bring the 1-2 for the team.
“I have some homework to do over these next few days and I’m sure I will come back stronger.”
Sainz: Verstappen was unlucky, but that’s good for Ferrari
Sainz climbed from third to second during the closing laps as he capitalised on Red Bull’s reliability problems.
Both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were forced to retire from the race, leaving Ferrari free to build a 44-point lead over Red Bull after just one round of the championship.
Mercedes, meanwhile, were able to bring their cars home in third and fourth, despite struggling for pace all weekend long.
“At the restart, I had a strong chance, because I had a very clean restart behind Charles and Max,” Sainz said, detailing the moment that saw him breeze past Verstappen.
“He defended well, to be fair, and then, suddenly, I started seeing some flashing red lights on the back of his car and I said, ‘Okay, this is my chance’.
“He was unfortunate. I think today he was driving well enough to get P2. I had a good run on him and then he had to retire, so it is what it is – it’s good for Ferrari.”