Energized by the excellent performance showcased from the mid-season break onwards, highlighted by the fantastic victory in Singapore, Scuderia Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz aims to raise the bar for the upcoming season. The Spaniard has set the ambitious goal of achieving at least two victories in the 2024 Formula 1 campaign. However, the Ferrari man is well aware that closing the gap with Red Bull, especially in the race, will be very challenging despite regulatory stability.
Carlos Sainz: More than half a second is needed to close the gap with Red Bull
“There are still quite a few meetings to analyze everything,” said the Spaniard during a promotional event with sponsor Estrella Galicia. “In January, there will be the review a month before the start, and then everything can be seen more clearly.” – he pointed out – “Red Bull understands very well what the characteristics of the car are with these regulations. It is seen that on Saturdays we can beat them or match them, and that we are not far away, but in the race, it’s half a second per lap faster, half a minute in the race, it’s deceptive.” – he added.
“We have learned that their big advantage is versatility on Sundays. This is where we need to find the key. In June 2022, we thought we were not that far away, as Mercedes thought, but 2023 has shown us that we did not take the right direction.”
The Red Bull dominance has been so devastating this year that, according to Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen didn’t even need to push 100% in the race: “I think he didn’t need to push to the maximum and only did it when he really needed to.”
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“This is what scares me the most, and that’s why I tell Ferrari that we don’t have to improve by four, but by six to beat them, to avoid those five or ten seconds. There are stints, which I see in the telemetry, where maybe he doesn’t need it. We have to adopt this mindset for next year.”
Finally, Carlos Sainz stated that he wants to achieve at least twice the number of victories obtained in 2022 and this year: “You can’t demand anything from Ferrari because they are the first to impose it on themselves. Since 2008, they have wanted to win. All of us have set this goal. I can only emphasize what is wrong with the car. I won one race in 2022, another in 2023, and let’s see if I can get two in 2024; that’s the goal.” – the Ferrari driver concluded.