Scuderia Ferrari Spanish driver Carlos Sainz holds the view that the Maranello team’s challenges with its 2023 single-seater can only be resolved through design alterations rather than incremental developmental upgrades this year. In a season that has been less than stellar for Scuderia Ferrari, the Maranello team currently occupies fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship with 201 points.
As they prepare for their home race at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, they find themselves 54 points adrift of the second-placed Mercedes. As a result, the focus at Maranello has largely shifted towards the 2024 car, with practice sessions dedicated to collecting data for the upcoming model rather than the 2023 SF-23. Carlos Sainz, who has yet to secure a podium finish in 2023, contends that the fundamental issues with the SF-23 are so deeply rooted that attempting to eliminate them without a fresh design for 2024 would be a nearly impossible task.
“We’ve done a decent job in terms of development. If you look at the development race this year, we are up there in terms of cars that have developed the most, and it is clear that the biggest jump has been done by McLaren. But apart from them, normally, we’ve been lacking against Mercedes and Red Bull in development this year and what we haven’t managed to do is take away the characteristics that make our car extremely tricky to drive in certain situations. It is an intrinsic problem in the car that you can’t take away in development and only take away by design.” – Carlos Sainz said during the press conference ahead of the Monza event.
“It is not a secret that we’ve been struggling a lot to drive in unpredictable conditions like when it is windy or in long corners where you spend a lot of time in the corner. Also, our tyre problems can come from these, so that is why I say we now understand the problem, understand the main issue and now we need to put everything together to produce a better car.” – he pointed out.
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At the same time, Carlos Sainz feels that the Maranello team can still take P2 in the Constructors standings this season and therefore win the battle with Mercedes and Aston Martin if Ferrari will be able to do a “perfect job.”
“I think we fully understand what we want from next year’s car, and what characteristics we want it to have. It is obviously another thing whether we can fully achieve it or not, and we are fully focused in the simulator, in the wind-tunnel and even in free practices to take the time to keep experimenting with things to make sure that we have everything covered for next year’s car. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a Constructors’ Championship to fight with Mercedes and Aston Martin over, and we still believe we can come out on top if we do a perfect job. But there is also the fact that we need to use these practice sessions to keep trying things. At some circuits it is maybe not worth it, like maybe Monza or Singapore, but then there’s obviously some where you can definitely learn a lot.” – the Ferrari man concluded.