Carlos Sainz admits that he thought he could win the Italian Grand Prix after holding onto the lead in the early stages.
Sainz started the race from pole position, having bested Max Verstappen to the fastest lap in qualifying by just 0.013s
Verstappen pursued Sainz in the opening laps of the Grand Prix at Monza, but initially couldn’t launch an attack.
The straight line speed of the Ferrari was keeping Verstappen ahead, however the Red Bull driver stated over team radio that Sainz was struggling with his tyres as he began to slide.
On lap 15, Sainz locked up into the first corner, which presented an opportunity for Verstappen.
Verstappen completed the overtake at Turn 3 and went on to win his 10th race in a row, setting a new Formula 1 record.
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When asked if he thought he could win the race at any stage during the first stint, Sainz told media including RacingNews365: “Yeah, halfway through it.
“I felt like I had it fairly under control but then around lap 10 to 12, I started filling the rear left tyre giving up a lot earlier than I would have expected.
“At that point, I realised I had used my tyres too much probably to keep Max behind, I had worn that rear-left tyre too much and that I was going to suffer a lot for the rest of the race because it was going to probably make me box early into a hard tyre.
“And then the second stint was going to be very long. It’s exactly what happened and my feeling was correct.
“I didn't expect to degrade so much but it was clear that I was pushing very, very hard to keep them behind.
“Probably harder than what the car, or what I should have done.”