Scuderia Ferrari Spanish driver Carlos Sainz has indicated that he anticipates an improved performance from the Maranello team at the Monza circuit in front of the Tifosi, suggesting that while the Italian side comprehends the challenges with their single-seater, rectifying them now that the car is fully developed poses difficulties.
The Spaniard acknowledged this following a challenging Dutch Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit last weekend, where he secured fifth place after a determined performance throughout the race, despite the Ferrari SF-23 proving to be slower than other rivals such as Alpine and Mercedes.
As a result, he now stands in fifth place in the drivers’ championship with 102 points ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, maintaining a three-point lead over his teammate Charles Leclerc. Meanwhile, Ferrari currently holds the fourth position in the constructors’ championship, trailing behind Aston Martin, Mercedes, and Red Bull.
The Italian side’s Formula 1 campaign has been marred by strategic missteps and car-related issues. Furthermore, Charles Leclerc’s Dutch Grand Prix concluded prematurely due to floor damage following a contact with the McLaren of Oscar Piastri. Carlos Sainz expressed contentment with his outcome at Zandvoort but shifted his focus toward the future, highlighting that tracks with reduced downforce better complement the SF-23 car’s characteristics.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
Post-race, he conveyed to Sky Sports F1: “I think today we were the whole race fighting with cars that were a lot quicker than us all weekend. It was just a whole race of fighting through, getting the calls right and happy to finish in P5, when I think this weekend, our pace was nowhere near that. Means we executed the race well. We did everything well today and happy with the result. Obviously not happy with how much I struggled and how difficult it was out there for us.” – the Spanish driver added.
At the same time, the Ferrari driver also opened up on the difficult line teams must walk in terms of car updates and design direction, even when the engineers have a clear understanding of the limitations and issues that have to be addressed.
“Don’t get me wrong, we start to understand what is it [the underlying car problems]. There’s very little margin to correct it now that the car is built and the car is pretty much done and developed. We know we need to change things for next year, but for this year, circuits like Zandvoort and windy conditions and high downforce tracks we were just simply going to be slow. On the other hand, Monza I expect better things because in Spa we were a lot quicker than here. I think honestly, low downforce tracks we should be better. We should be back to our normal position, it’s just that this weekend, we were nowhere, but we still finished P5, and we did the maximum with the car we had which is something to be proud of.” – the Ferrari driver concluded.