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Carlos Sainz

Norris Verstappen drama 'happy days' for F1 – Sainz

Carlos Sainz finished on the podium after Max Verstappen and Lando Norris dropped out of the top three.

Sainz Austria race
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has declared Max Verstappen and Lando Norris' Austrian Grand Prix clash "happy days" for F1.

The Ferrari driver was not involved in the battle for victory at the Red Bull Ring but was a direct beneficiary of the collision between the Red Bull and McLaren drivers as he was promoted from fifth to third behind race-winner George Russell and the second McLaren of Oscar Piastri.

It was Sainz's first podium since the Monaco Grand Prix and marked an important result for the Spaniard after two difficult races in Canada and Spain. 

Sainz's initial challenge in Austria was to keep pace with Russell, although this was beyond him as the Mercedes driver secured his and the team's first victory since the São Paulo GP in late 2022. 

Reflecting on what unfolded, speaking to media, including RacingNews365, Sainz said: "Quite an eventful race up front. For us, it was all about trying to keep up with George. 

"We knew the Mercedes might have a bit of an advantage on race pace but we tried everything to keep up with him, and Oscar, in the end, was coming really, really quick, and in the end P3 is, I think, a good result. 

"We can be quite happy quite proud of that because this hasn't been easy for us and to come away with 15 points and a P3 is a good result."

Ferrari 'pushing flat out' in F1 fight

Ferrari has encountered some difficulties since it introduced its recent upgrade package in the Spanish GP, making Sainz's podium a relief. 

The 29-year-old was not in contention for victory but was close enough to overtake Norris and Verstappen whilst they crawled back to the pits.

Sainz was pleased to see a battle at the front and is hopeful Ferrari again can soon be amongst it, potentially in this weekend's British Grand Prix.

"Happy days for Formula 1 that there's a bit of action up front and we're getting to see some nice battles," added Sainz. 

"Unfortunately for us, we are still coming off the back of a tough couple of races where we are not quite there to fight for the win yet.

"But we're trying to do everything we can as a team to be back on form in Silverstone, and in the upcoming races, to make sure next time we are up there to capitalise. 

"And if not, podiums like these are always good news, and we will keep pushing flat out to stay in the fight."

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