Difficulty in adapting to the Circuit of the Americas
Fourth yesterday in the ‘real’ qualifying, sixth today in the one dedicated to the Sprint race. Carlos Sainz slips back one row in the Shootout Sprint, an interesting prelude to the short race that will start tonight at midnight Italian time. Carlos Sainz’s stumble in the Ferrari SF-23 single-seater makes one think, especially since his Maranello teammate, Charles Leclerc, has proven to be very fast: first yesterday, second today, just a handful of hundredths – five – behind Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Interviewed by Sky Sport F1 at the end of the Q3 this evening, Carlos Sainz admitted that he is not yet entirely comfortable with the SF-23 put on the track by the Prancing Horse team in Texas. “Clearly, we need to work on our qualifying pace because we’re not in the position we’d like to be in,” the #55 in red admitted. “We are a few tenths behind, especially with the soft tire. I don’t feel entirely comfortable in the first sector and the last one.”
Confidence in the race perspective
The ‘bumps’ of the Austin circuit, recognized by all the drivers, haven’t helped the winner of the Singapore GP in this case: “The tires overheat, and we have some bouncing,” Carlos Sainz added. “But we still had a couple of clean sessions, and we’re in a good starting position to try to make up ground in the race.” – the Ferrari man pointed out at the end of the Sprint Shootout in Austin.
Nevertheless, the Spaniard is also added to the list of COTA fans: “For me, it’s a fun track,” he concluded, “even more so when you have a car that inspires confidence, whereas this weekend, we haven’t found a good feeling with the car. We have to work, and with the Sprint rules and the closed park, we can’t change much. This is the situation, but I believe things can change in the race, and we could be faster. This track, however, is great, one of my favorites.”