The Ferrari driver was considered one of 9 drivers to decide on to run on the red-walled rubber for the 24-lap race, with that quantity including eventual race winner Valtteri Bottas.
Sainz and Bottas each moved forward at the beginning from their second and fifth place grid spots – with the latter getting alongside Max Verstappen’s first-place-starting Purple Bull and in entrance into Flip 1, with the previous then demoting the championship chief to 3rd with a transfer to the within of Flip 4 because the grip good thing about the softs meant he obtained right into a place to move alongside Interlagos’ second straight.
Though Verstappen later repassed Sainz for second place, the Spaniard was in a position to defy Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull for the rest of the sprint race and end third.
When requested how a lot of a big gamble it had been to take the softs, with Ferrari letting Sainz and his team-mate Leclerc (who opted for mediums) make their very own tyre decisions, Sainz defined that recognizing monitor temperatures falling by practically a full diploma from 36.6°C forward of the beginning was key to his determination.
“It was very robust as a result of ultimately, the smooth is possibly higher for the primary two laps, however then from lap three-four onwards, as soon as the smooth is almost overheating, you need a medium tyre,” he mentioned.
“That’s all the time the stability to seek out between begin efficiency and a 24-lap stint or race.
“We wish for the smooth, however we had been actually 50-50. Like, the monitor dropping there on the finish earlier than the race begin, form of swung me in the direction of the smooth tyre – simply because I assumed it was going to be a bit simpler to maintain it alive.
“However I nonetheless assume from lap 5 onwards, the medium was the higher tyre. However, yeah, it was a difficult name, however I assume we did the suitable factor.”
Sainz made a rapid launch to take third into Flip 1, then claimed second from Verstappen into Flip 4
Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
Sainz additionally defined how Perez “caught [up to run] very shut just about half of the laps he was behind”.
He added: “I knew into the final nook each time I had a seven-tenth hole, then I must defend into Flip 1.
“Each time the hole was eight-tenths, then I’d simply make it into Flip 1 with out having to defend. And nine-tenths would imply that possibly I didn’t even want to make use of my vitality.
“So, it was precisely the identical each lap and I [was] simply listening to the hole from my engineer – he did an excellent job telling me the hole precisely on the DRS zone.
“Then I may handle the battery to my liking and know whether or not I needed to defend or not.
“I feel [Perez’s] entrance wing was very near my diffuser in a few brakings [into Turn 1]. However, identical to all the time with Checo, good enjoyable, good struggle and good racing.”