Leclerc dopped out of the season opener whereas operating third behind the dominant Purple Bull vehicles, having taken recent management electronics and power retailer engine elements forward of Bahrain Grand Prix.
Ferrari opted to suit a 3rd management electronics half for this weekend’s Saudi Arabian occasion and Leclerc will take a 10-place grid penalty in Jeddah for already exceeding the season restrict of two allowances of that half.
That call leaves Sainz as Ferrari’s finest hope to battle Purple Bull on the high-speed observe that ought to, in concept, swimsuit the SF-23’s reconfigured aerodynamic idea aimed toward boosting straight line effectivity.
However even when Sainz can maintain tempo with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez on Sunday, there will likely be important concentrate on whether or not his engine will final the gap – a scenario he mentioned Ferrari is “comparatively involved” about.
“It’s not the best way you need to begin a season – with a penalty in race two,” Sainz defined within the pre-event press convention in Jeddah.
“Breaking the battery, the ECU, within the first weekend, clearly we aren’t pleased with that and we recognized it as a weak spot.
“But it surely’s the primary time we’ve seen this failure in a really, very very long time. So, it caught us without warning.
“We’re placing issues in place to repair it and I’m fairly positive that we’re able to fixing that within the brief time period.
“So, it’s a foul scenario however now we will solely look forwards and enhance it and be sure that we’re additionally extra aggressive this weekend.”
Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari
Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
When requested if Ferrari was anticipating to be within the podium battle this weekend, Sainz replied: “I need to assume so, yeah.
“The observe is totally totally different to Bahrain. The [asphalt], the high-speed nature, the wing degree that we’ll run – every part is only a bit totally different in comparison with Bahrain. I’ve the sensation that we’re going to be a bit extra aggressive.
“Sufficient to beat the Purple Bulls? Given how aggressive and the way robust they have been in Bahrain, it’s going to be extraordinarily tough.
“However I need to be extra optimistic after Bahrain and really feel like this weekend we’ve an excellent probability to get again on the rostrum.”
Reflecting on Ferrari’s disappointing Bahrain outcome, the place it couldn’t maintain tempo with Purple Bull on account of poor tyre put on ranges even earlier than Leclerc dropped off the rostrum, Sainz urged Purple Bull’s 2022 turnaround from a double DNF within the season opener earlier than happening to win each titles offered inspiration.
“It was a troublesome first weekend for the group, however generally I believe we bought out of it with the utmost we might’ve completed,” mentioned Sainz, who was struggling together with his voice after selecting up a chilly final weekend.
“Clearly, Charles’s penalty coming into right here will not be splendid, but it surely’s solely the primary race,” he added. “If one thing taught us [from] 2022, it’s not the way you begin, it’s the way you end.
“So, we’re going to attempt to construct up from there and particularly now kick the developments in and attempt to enhance the automotive as a lot as attainable.
“Attempt to enhance from the place we’ve began.”