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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Saudi F1 struggles present Ferrari not second greatest, says Sainz

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The Spaniard completed some 36 seconds adrift of Crimson Bull victor Sergio Perez in Jeddah to clock sixth place, one spot forward of team-mate Charles Leclerc – who was recovering from a 10-place gird drop.

That penalty was earned for a change of the management electronics unit after Leclerc retired from the Bahrain season-opener, whereas Sainz was fourth a fortnight in the past as Ferrari struggled with its tyres.

Initially the crew attributed the intense degradation to the abrasive Bahrain circuit, however the SF-23 duo’s incapability in Saudi Arabia to maneuver ahead on onerous tyres in the course of the ultimate stint has now left Sainz in little question that the automotive has a extra basic tempo deficit.

Sainz stated: “The final stint on the onerous [tyres] proves that we aren’t the place we wish to be, that we nonetheless deg greater than the Mercedes, that we nonetheless deg greater than the Aston Martins. We lack a little bit of race tempo.”

Given the SF-23’s low drag aero idea and prime velocity benefit in Bahrain, Ferrari had anticipated being second quickest behind Crimson Bull on the flowing and quick Saudi avenue observe.

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The precise efficiency left Sainz “shocked” and he’s now clear in his thoughts that automotive upgrades somewhat than easy set-up tweaks will probably be required to battle Perez and Max Verstappen.

His response to the race was: “[I’m] a bit shocked as a result of after Friday and earlier than the weekend, I believed that we had an opportunity of being the second pressure right here in Jeddah.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, makes a pit cease

Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“However I believe that final stint on the onerous proves that we nonetheless have a number of work to do, that now we have a weak spot within the race and that we have to await the developments to come back to see if we will enhance that weak spot.”

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Understanding Ferrari’s early struggles in comparison with its fast begin in 2022, Sainz stated the crew may now not contemplate its subdued displaying in Bahrain to be observe particular.

As an alternative, whether or not in clear or soiled air, Ferrari was ‘consuming the tyres alive’.

He continued: “I believe this can be a key, which it is an unlucky, nevertheless it’s key to know that.

“Proper now, we’re not the place we wish to be when it comes to race tempo, when it comes to automotive usually the steadiness even in soiled air following.

“We simply struggled a bit, and if we already overheat the tyres in clear air then think about following: we simply eat them alive.

“We’d like clear air to supply some type of respectable lap instances. We all know precisely our weaknesses. This can be a Positive. Now, clearly, we can’t do magic to deliver the developments early.

“However I do know the crew is pushing flat out to deliver them and it will enhance our race tempo, for positive.”

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