Carlos Sainz Jnr has hailed his second Formula 1 championship for leader Max Verstappen ahead of the next race in Singapore.
Verstappen leads Sanz’s Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc by 116 points with six races to go to take his 11th win of the season at Monza.
Sainz made few mistakes as his former team-mate Verstappen drove well in what was set to be a successful championship defence.
“I think he had a very strong season,” said the Ferrari driver.
“He made a very small mistake. Every time he made a mistake – like in Spain he spun in one place instead of me, he spun in Hungary – he recovered from the mistake and went away. [on to] to win I think the biggest difference is that he can go and win even on days where he’s probably had a little rest.
Verstappen’s title defense got off to a rocky start when he suffered car problems in two of the first three races, leaving Leclerc 46 points ahead of him. But the Red Bull driver piled on the winning streak after winning the following rounds, while Ferrari were causing problems.
“From the beginning [three] Runs, they’ve been extremely reliable and they’ve added all these things and he’s having an incredible season and I think he deserves it,” Sainz said. “As a driver, I think he’s doing a particularly strong job.”
Verstappen has won the last five races in a row. But after the Monza win, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said winning the remaining six rounds was a big ask for the driver and the team.
Singapore got more corners on the circuit compared to that. It’s a bumpy, bumpy road. So it’s a very different challenge.
“We are in a good position in the championship but we will attack every race and do our best with points or we will take care of ourselves. We were fast at Spa or Zandvoort or Monza and even Budapest; So the car is performing well in various circuits.
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