Carlos Sainz, the Ferrari driver, is confident that the Maranello team has a comprehensive understanding of its objectives regarding the characteristics of the 2024 Formula 1 car. Now, the crucial phase involves translating this understanding into action.
Over at Maranello, intensive efforts have been underway to establish a more consistent performance for Scuderia Ferrari in the upcoming championship. The 2023 campaign has witnessed a series of fluctuations, largely contingent on the nature of the Formula 1 tracks visited.
For instance, in the past two weeks, Carlos Sainz’s performance serves as a prime example. He impressively secured a top-five finish at Zandvoort, despite Ferrari lagging behind in terms of competitiveness. Just a week later at Monza, he remarkably claimed pole position and clinched his first podium of the season. Given Ferrari’s intermittent performance this season, an obvious observation from an outsider might be that the 2024 challenger should aim to be an all-rounder. However, Carlos Sainz disclosed that the team has been diligently working behind the scenes to define the precise attributes they desire in their car.
They are confident that they have accomplished this task. Now, the subsequent challenge is to implement these objectives during the car’s development phase.
“I think we fully understand what we want from next year’s car and where we want to put the car next year and what characteristics we want the car to have. Another thing is, obviously, whether we can fully achieve it or not and, on that, we are fully focused now on the simulator, on the wind tunnel, and even on free practices, taking time to still keep experimenting with things to make sure that we have everything covered for next year’s car.” – Carlos Sainz explained when asked about the Maranello team’s plans for the upcoming championship.
The issue of tire degradation has persisted, and Carlos Sainz openly acknowledged, following the 2023 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix, that the significant tire wear in the early stages, as he fended off Max Verstappen, nearly jeopardized his chances of clinching a podium finish by the race’s conclusion. Nevertheless, he emphasized that the wind is a significant factor that can destabilize the car, and it has played a part in Ferrari’s difficulties at select circuits throughout this campaign.
“It’s not a secret that we’ve been struggling a lot to keep the car [on] some types of tracks, especially in unpredictable conditions like wind gusts, long corners where you spend a long time in a corner depending on downforce. And also probably part of our tyre problems sometimes can come from this because it can be a car that is also hard on tyres because of that. So that’s why I say we understand the problem, we understand why our main issue is. Now we need to see next year [if] we can do everything better and produce a better car. We need to trust our process, our simulations and the feedback of the drivers. That is pretty crystal clear, what we need to understand.” – the Ferrari man concluded.