Life is crazy, says Ferrari's Sainz after comeback win in Australia

Sainz, who missed the Saudi Arabian GP while recovering from appendix surgery, won his third F1 career race

By Reuters

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Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr. celebrates with the trophy on the podium. — Reuters
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr. celebrates with the trophy on the podium. — Reuters

Published: Sun 24 Mar 2024, 5:31 PM

Hard work pays off and life is sometimes crazy, said Carlos Sainz on Sunday after the Ferrari driver won the Australian Grand Prix just two weeks after having appendix surgery.

Sainz, who missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix while recovering from the medical issue, returned at Albert Park to post his third Formula One career race win in a one-two with teammate Charles Leclerc.

Sainz spent much of the two weeks after his operation resting in bed but still managed to put his car second on the grid next to Max Verstappen in qualifying on Saturday.

With world champion Verstappen struggling due to a brake problem that forced him to retire, Sainz overtook the Red Bull driver on the third lap.

He then held off Leclerc until a last-lap George Russell crash brought out the virtual safety car which sealed victory for the Spaniard.

It was a sweet feeling for Sainz, who was informed before the start of the season that he would lose his race seat to seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton in 2025.

"What happened at the beginning of the year, then the podium in Bahrain, then the appendix, the comeback, the win. It's a rollercoaster, but I loved it. I'm extremely happy," Sainz told reporters.

"Very proud of the team, happy to be in a one-two with Charles here. It shows that the hard work pays off. Life, sometimes it's crazy."

With his F1 future up in the air, Sainz said the win would certainly not hurt his chances of picking up another drive.

"For sure it does no harm, that is 100% (sure)," he added.

"I am still without a job for next year.

"Everyone more or less knows what I'm capable of doing.

"I don't race to prove to team principals my value. I race for myself ... That's the mentality and approach I have and will continue to."

With Leclerc taking the fastest lap at Albert Park, Ferrari grabbed maximum points from the race and are suddenly right in the title hunt, four points adrift of Red Bull in both the drivers and constructors' championship races.

Leclerc said it was a long time since Ferrari had the pace to compete with Red Bull but they were not getting ahead of themselves.

"We still have a lot of work to do," he said.

"Whenever we have the opportunity to actually win a race, we need to take it and this weekend we did it, Carlos did it today.

"So we need to do that until we get the car consistently better than the Red Bull, especially in the race."


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