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Sainz: Silverstone win not my best weekend of 2022

Despite his maiden win at the British Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz feels it was not his best weekend of the season - highlighting two other candidates.

Carlos Sainz believes his third-place finish in Brazil, and not his maiden Formula 1 victory in Britain, was his best drive of the 2022 season. The Ferrari driver captured a first F1 Pole Position in wet conditions to start P1 for the British Grand Prix, and eventually claimed the win in his 150th start after ignoring team orders after a strategy blunder for teammate Charles Leclerc. In what at times was a trying season for the Spanish driver, he eventually went onto finish a career-best fifth in the Drivers' Championship, relegating Lewis Hamilton to sixth in Abu Dhabi for the Mercedes driver's career-worst season result. Reflecting upon the season, Sainz highlighted two weekends which he felt were superior to the Silverstone win - including one where he retired on the first lap.

Silverstone not Sainz's best win

"It is the win of course," replied Sainz when asked by Sky Sports F1 what his highlight of the campaign was. "Especially at Silverstone for Ferrari (where Jose Froilan Gonzalez claimed the first World Championship win for the Scuderia in 1951), it is a very special place, but honestly I was driving a lot better in Brazil or the [United States] than what I did in Silverstone. "My best weekend of the season was probably Brazil, where I think I would have started P2 for the main race without [an engine grid penalty] and could have fought for the win. "In Austin, I got Pole and we would have been very fast in the race, if I would have done the race. "I've been fast in the second half [of the season], but will always remember my first win." Sainz took third at Interlagos behind the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Hamilton as Red Bull struggled with car set-up and teammate Charles Leclerc was refused his team orders request to swap positions to aid his push for P2 in the Drivers' Championship. In Austin, Sainz claimed a third career Pole, and the first in dry conditions with him inheriting the spot at Spa after a Max Verstappen grid drop. At the start, he was nerfed by Russell which punctured water lines and caused a leak, triggering race retirement.

Key problem for Ferrari to fix

Sainz was speaking before the departure of team boss Mattia Binotto, but despite the Italian's exit from the team boss role, he identified one key area the team must focus on over the winter. "We need to be better at executing races," he explained. "The start for example, this year we've had an inherent problem with the car that doesn't allow us to start well. "I had a problem with the clutch all weekend [in Abu Dhabi] and it cost me a position to Lewis and I lost five or six seconds of race time in that crazy fight I had with him. "The second point is obviously strategy and getting the right tyres onto the car on Sunday. "This is something we are working on for next year and then there is the development. 'We want to beat Mercedes and Red Bull - so need to develop more than them."

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