After McLaren’s impressive performance at the 5.807-kilometre Suzuka International Racing Course last Sunday in the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz Jr. envisions a more closely contested competition between the Maranello team and McLaren in the upcoming races, starting with the Qatar Grand Prix. However, the Spaniard foresees his former team vying for podium finishes at “fast-paced tracks” following their recent upgrade.
In the Japanese Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari had to settle for a fourth place finish for Charles Leclerc and a P6 for Carlos Sainz, after a thrilling battle with the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, as the seven-time F1 world champion eventually got the better of Carlos and finished the Suzuka race in fifth place. McLaren was untouchable for the Maranello team at the Suzuka circuit in terms of race pace, which could become a problem in the battle for second place in the Constructors championship.
“When we go to places like Mexico, even Austin, with more low-speed content, we will be very equal to them – we will have a race with McLaren,” Carlos Sainz pointed out at the end of the Japanese Grand Prix, after finishing sixth, over 13 seconds behind the second of the McLaren cars, just seven days following the Spaniard’s impressive with at the Marina Bay street circuit in the Singapore Grand Prix.
Lando Norris was “a couple of tenths quicker per lap” in Japan, as confirmed by Carlos Sainz: “I think Piastri, whenever I had clean air, actually I had some very strong laps comparable to him. It’s just that I never had clean air.” – he concluded.
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