According to Carlos Sainz, Ferrari’s struggle with race pace this season was not an entirely new development, as there were warning signs as early as last year. Sainz, along with teammate Charles Leclerc, has faced inconsistency and a lack of competitiveness during races, particularly on Sundays.
Although Ferrari’s qualifying performances have often shown promise, with the car proving to be in close proximity to the RB19, they have been unable to challenge Red Bull during actual races. While the team has made some progress in recent weeks and gained a better understanding of the necessary improvements, they still lack confidence in having fully addressed all the contributing factors.
Reflecting on the unexpected difficulties faced by Ferrari, Sainz believes that even in the latter half of the previous season, there were indications of a race-pace issue with their Formula 1 car. In certain races, such as Budapest and Austin, where they secured pole position but ultimately fell behind during the race, the difference in pace became apparent. Sainz notes that while the gap was relatively small last year, this year it has widened significantly, with half a second difference in qualifying and eight tenths in the race.
The emergence of doubts regarding the race-pace consistency of Ferrari’s car in the previous year occurred after the team had already committed to the design of their SF-23 car for this season. Consequently, the weaknesses in the car’s performance were inherent to its design. At that time, Ferrari had no way of knowing the situation, especially since Red Bull didn’t fully hit their stride until the middle part of the season.
Sainz reflects on the timing of Ferrari’s commitment to the 2023 design, stating that the team was still highly competitive when the car was being developed. The early races of the 2022 season showcased Ferrari’s strong performance, which likely influenced their decision to proceed with the same concept and design for the SF-23.
While Sainz has gradually adapted to the 2022 car and appears more comfortable this year, he admits that the SF-23 does not instill confidence when pushed to its limits. He describes the car as challenging and not one that he can drive to the limit comfortably. However, Sainz has a better understanding of how to set up the car and drive it effectively, allowing him to achieve relatively good results in most races.
With the exception of Baku, which remains a mystery to him, Sainz acknowledges that he has been able to position the car where it needs to be for most weekends. Nonetheless, he is not satisfied and aims to enjoy more consistent performance, looking ahead rather than constantly defending his position. Ferrari is actively working to improve their situation as a team.
Ferrari underwent a management change, with Mattia Binotto stepping down as team principal and being replaced by Fred Vasseur, during their challenging transition into the 2023 season. While it remains uncertain how much impact Binotto’s departure had, Sainz expresses optimism and believes that all the changes made will ultimately be for the better. He has faith in Vasseur’s leadership and direction for Ferrari, praising his ideas and the progress the team is starting to make.
In conclusion, Ferrari’s struggles with race pace this season have roots in the previous year, as indicated by Carlos Sainz. Despite the challenges, the team is working to address the issues and regain their competitive edge under the leadership of Fred Vasseur.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about race pace issues
Q: What were the warning signs Ferrari had regarding their race pace last year?
A: According to Carlos Sainz, there were indications of race-pace issues with Ferrari’s Formula 1 car in the latter half of the previous year. Despite their ability to fight for pole positions in qualifying, they consistently fell behind Red Bull during races, suggesting a lack of race pace compared to their rivals.
Q: Has Ferrari made any progress in addressing their race-pace difficulties?
A: Ferrari has shown signs of progress in recent weeks and has gained a better understanding of what needs to be done. However, the team still lacks confidence that they have fully addressed all the factors affecting their race pace.
Q: How did Ferrari’s commitment to the 2023 car design impact their race pace struggles?
A: Ferrari had already committed to the design of their SF-23 car for the current season when doubts emerged about the race-pace consistency. This meant that weaknesses in their car’s performance were inherent to its design, as they didn’t have knowledge of the upcoming challenges they would face in terms of race pace.
Q: How does Carlos Sainz feel about the SF-23 car’s performance?
A: Sainz admits that the SF-23 car does not inspire confidence when pushed to its limits. Although he has a better understanding of how to set up the car and drive it effectively, it remains challenging and not a car he can comfortably drive to the limit.
Q: How has the management change at Ferrari affected their race pace struggles?
A: With the departure of Mattia Binotto and the arrival of Fred Vasseur as team principal, the impact on Ferrari’s race pace difficulties is uncertain. However, Carlos Sainz expresses confidence in Vasseur’s leadership and believes that the changes made will ultimately lead to progress and improved performance.
More about race pace issues
- F1: Ferrari had first warning signs over race pace last year, says Sainz
- Ferrari SF-23 struggles: Carlos Sainz says signs were there in 2022
- Ferrari’s race pace struggles traced back to 2022, says Sainz
- Carlos Sainz believes progress is being made at Ferrari
- Carlos Sainz: I trust Fred Vasseur and I trust Ferrari
- Ferrari’s race pace struggles and management changes