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Carlos Sainz

Sainz details ominous Red Bull RB20 trait

Carlos Sainz took third place for Ferrari in Bahrain as he was unable to mount a challenge on Red Bull, who secured a 1-2 finish.

Verstappen Sainz Bahrain
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To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has revealed the extent of Red Bull's tyre degradation advantage over the field following the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sainz crossed the line in third place behind the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez who began the Milton Keynes squad's title defence in strong fashion.

For the final stint of the race, Red Bull fitted both of their drivers with the Soft compound while most of its rivals opted for another set of Hards.

As the race entered its latter stages, Sainz was informed over his team radio that the Hard compound would soon overtake the Soft in terms of pace due to tyre degradation.

However, Sainz had conceded that finishing ahead of at least one Red Bull was unlikely due to their strength in keeping the pace in the tyre, stating the drop-off on the Softs was identical to the rest of the field on the Hards.

“You need to consider that we've been testing here for three days and I've been seeing that Red Bull degradation on Soft [tyres] - it's exactly the same as ours on the Hards,” Sainz told media including RacingNews365.

“As soon as I knew Red Bull had a new Soft for the last stint and Checo had it, it’s not like I went ‘OK, this is my chance’.

“I’ve seen the long runs they did on the C3 tyre in testing and you could see that they basically have the same degradation on the Soft as what everyone had on the Hard. So I wasn't getting too excited.”

Dirty air held Sainz back

Although Sainz was over 25 seconds down on race-winner Verstappen across the line, he was much closer to Perez with just three seconds separating the duo.

However, Sainz explained that getting any closer was impossible due to being hampered by the Red Bull's dirty air.

“I was in a bit of an uncomfortable position because you're in a two, three-second margin where you get all the dirty air but you don't get the advantage of the DRS in the slipstream,” he said.

“So you're just sliding a bit more. If I had been within a second or maybe five seconds behind I think on the Hard tyre I could have maybe shown a bit more of the true pace of the car and my pace.

“But in that two, three seconds, it’s the worst place to be and I could never mount any proper challenge on Checo.”

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