As the 2023 Formula 1 season has progressed, McLaren has steadily climbed the rankings, currently holding fifth place in the standings. They appear poised to surpass Aston Martin, and with five races and two sprint events remaining, there’s a chance they could close the 79-point gap with the Maranello team
Despite McLaren’s impressive progress, which has positioned them as the best-performing team behind Red Bull in recent Carlos Sainz believes the Italian side has a sufficient margin to stay ahead.
In the previous round of the season, the Qatar Grand Prix, the Spaniard was unable to start the race due to a fuel system leak, resulting in a substantial loss of points for both him and the Maranello team. This was particularly disappointing since he had the potential for a strong performance at the Lusail International Circuit, despite the fact that Ferrari was not able to match McLaren in terms of race pace.
Carlos Sainz acknowledges that, in hindsight, it might have seemed like a wise decision to skip the demanding race, given the challenges faced by his fellow drivers. McLaren’s double podium finish in the Constructors’ standings earned them a substantial points boost.
However, as the only non-Red Bull driver to secure a podium position this season and with Ferrari’s stronger early-season performance compared to McLaren, Carlos Sainz remains optimistic that the Italian side can maintain their position in the championship standings by the end of the current Formula 1 campaign.
“I think if we don’t have any other DNS or DNFs, I think we should be able to keep them behind,” Carlos Sainz explained in his interview with the media on Thursday ahead of the United States Grand Prix – “Doesn’t mean that they are not going to beat us. I think they’re going to beat us in most of the races from here to the end of the season if all things align, because they do have a very quick car nowadays and they look to be the only ones that can sometimes bother Red Bull, and in a track like Singapore, where maybe it’s more us [who were quicker]. But I don’t know. I was playing golf yesterday with Lando, we were discussing whether they will be ahead this weekend, or [whether] we will be ahead. Maybe quali, maybe race but basically we don’t know. Let’s see tomorrow.” – the Ferrari man concluded.