"We are very limited at the moment": Carlos Sainz doesn't feel he can win races in Ferrari's SF23
Carlos Sainz has admitted that SF-23 isn't going to be the title challenger he was hoping for before the season began. Sainz believes that Ferrari have lost ground to their rivals trying to build on their 2022 challenger.
Carlos Sainz missed the Ferrari F1-75, the car he drove the previous year, winning one race and scoring two pole positions. While the 2023 challenger failed to live up to its expectations, Sainz has a better understanding of the car, particularly in race trim. He also admitted that his performances on Saturdays haven't been up to the mark.
In an interview with motorsport.com, Sainz said:
"I can say that I still miss 2022, because at least I knew I had a car available that was capable of winning races and taking pole positions. This year the feeling with the car is slightly better, especially in the race, I'm not struggling with anything particular from a driving point of view, but I haven't put together any good qualifying laps yet."
Speaking about his race pace, he added:
"In the race I think I did what the car can do at the moment, which is not much, we are very limited at the moment."
The Spaniard also reasoned why the SF-23 lacked performance in the race. He elaborated that the car becomes difficult to manage in the dirty air, degrading the tires.
Tire degradation has been Ferrari's Achilles heel since the 2022 season. The problem seems to persist with their 2023 challenger as well. Sainz spoke about the issue, saying:
"We can't fight too much with our rivals because the car becomes difficult to manage in the dirty air, in those conditions we eat the tires, and this means that we are a bit stuck in the race."
The 28-year-old Ferrari driver also added about the set-up compromise the team makes every weekend. This explains why the car did well in the qualifying session but failed to replicate the pace on Sundays.
Sainz is confident that the team has identified the problems affecting the car's performance. He has faith in the team as he trusts the engineers to solve the issues.
Carlos Sainz reckons RB19 is superior to every car in all aspects
Carlos Sainz has admitted that Red Bull's RB19 is quicker in all aspects. He believes the car is fast in qualifying and maintains its advantage on Sunday as well. He further highlighted that the car is quick on the straights and in different types of corners. The Spaniard said:
"At the moment Red Bull is superior to everyone. They are superior in qualifying, in the race, in straight line speed, they are superior in low/medium speed corners, they are superior in tire management, superior on the curbs and bumps, and this shows that we have clearly that we need to change something."
Heading into the 2023 F1 Australian GP, Carlos Sainz returns to the track where he had a miserable weekend in 2022. He will be hoping to have a clean weekend this year, scoring solid points.