Carlos Sainz says he was “laughing” inside the car during the Japanese Grand Prix amid Mercedes’ strategy to keep him behind.
In the final stages of the race, Lewis Hamilton backed off to give DRS to team-mate George Russell after Mercedes swapped its drivers.
The situation mirrored the strategy that Sainz deployed in Singapore when he backed off to give Lando Norris DRS in order to stay in front of both Mercedes drivers.
However, Sainz was able to get past Russell despite DRS in play, but couldn’t move in front of Hamilton for fifth place at the end of the race.
Sainz would finish sixth with team-mate Charles Leclerc fourth for a 20-point haul by Ferrari compared to a 16-point one for Mercedes in their fight for second in the Constructors'.
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Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Sainz admits he was amused by Mercedes’ efforts to stay ahead.
"I was laughing in the car because I could see Lewis backing off in 130R to give DRS to George," he said.
"I was like: 'I need to make sure I attack George into the chicane.' If I didn't throw them offline, it would be impossible to pass them.
“I went very deep into the chicane, managed to get a bit of a switchback and then I used the DRS, slipstream and everything to pass him.
“It was good fun. It nearly cost me my own position with my own trick!"