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Carlos Sainz

Sainz dismisses Russell complaints: 'He does it often'

The Ferrari driver held off George Russell midway through the race for fourth, but the Mercedes driver was not happy with some of his defensive techniques.

Sainz Mexico
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Carlos Sainz has dismissed protests from George Russell over the Ferrari driver's weaving in the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Defending fourth place, along the pit-straight into the Turn 1 braking zone, Sainz defended as is his right, but Mercedes' Russell felt the Spaniard was making more than one change of direction in the braking zone.

Drivers are permitted by the regulations to make one defensive move, and then move back to the racing line for a corner but moving under braking is frowned upon.

In the end, Russell fell back to a sixth-place finish while fourth was good enough to move Sainz into fourth place in the Drivers' on 183 points, ahead of Fernando Alonso who endured a miserable weekend for Aston Martin.

Reflecting on the moves, Sainz was confident he did nothing wrong - evidenced by the fact the stewards did not investigate and called Russell out.

Sainz: Weird stint on Mediums prevented progression

When asked about the manoeuvres, Sainz told media, including RacingNews365: "Well I was moving once and right before braking, which is what the rules allow.

"You cannot move on the braking but you can move right before braking and that's what I was doing.

"When you're behind you open the radio, you complain about the guy in front and [hope] he gets a warning or a five-second penalty because it benefits you.

"It's the same as always, everyone does it. George does it a lot."

As for his race, Sainz felt a sitting duck from his P2 grid spot with a "weird" stint compounding his afternoon.

"Looking at the pace that Max [Verstappen] and [Lewis] Hamilton had, it was honestly a matter of time before they finished ahead or in front," he explained.

"They simply are a lot quicker than us in race pace, we kind of expected going into the race that they have some extra pace in there and we had to manage a lot of temperatures.

"I had a weird stint on Mediums and I struggled with that front tyre that was grained almost on the formation lap, so we will have to take a look at that.

"Once we put the Hards on, I think we were just following the pace of the car."

F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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