Saudi F1 struggles present Ferrari not second greatest, says Sainz

Ferrari’s poor efficiency late in Formula 1’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix proves the group “lacks a bit of race pace” and isn’t second quickest, reckons Carlos Sainz.

The Spaniard completed some 36 seconds adrift of Red 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 group attributed the intense degradation to the abrasive Bahrain circuit, however the SF-23 duo’s incapacity to maneuver ahead on arduous tyres throughout the ultimate stint in Saudi Arabia has now left Sainz in little question that the automotive has a extra basic tempo deficit.

Sainz stated: “The last stint on the hard [tyres] proves that we are not where we want to be, that we still deg more than the Mercedes, that we still deg more than the Aston Martins. We lack a bit of race pace.”

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

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

His response to the race was: “[I’m] a bit stunned 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

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“But I think that last stint on the hard proves that we still have a lot of work to do, that we have a weakness in the race and that we need to wait for the developments to come to see if we can improve that weakness.”

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

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

He continued: “I believe that is key, which it is unlucky, however it’s key to know that.

“Right now, we’re not the place we need to be when it comes to race tempo, when it comes to automotive basically the stability 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 want clear air to provide some sort of respectable lap occasions. We know precisely our weaknesses. This is a optimistic. Now, clearly, we can’t do magic to deliver the developments early.

“But I know the team is pushing flat out to bring them and this will improve our race pace, for sure.”

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