Sainz Confesses: Ferrari Wasn’t Even Top 5 Speed-Wise at the Dutch Grand Prix

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During the unpredictable Dutch GP where weather was as much an opponent as the other drivers, Carlos Sainz admitted that Ferrari was far from setting the pace. According to him, both he and the team pulled off an almost flawless race to land in fifth place, staving off challenges from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris at the finish line.

“In hindsight, after comparing ourselves to Alpine, it’s evident we were more like the sixth-speediest car on the track this weekend,” Sainz remarked.

“Sure, there were moments when it seemed like we were in the running for a podium spot. But the hard truth is, as the race evolved, we were pretty much eating everyone’s dust.”

He continued, “Still, we executed a darn good race. We sparred toe-to-toe with racers who were leagues faster than us. We have to pat ourselves on the back for pulling off a commendable fifth-place finish. But let’s not kid ourselves, the car was as cooperative as a cat in a bathtub today. This has got to be one of my standout drives of the season.”

Photo by: Simon Galloway / F1 Flow Images

In terms of race strategy, an aspect where Ferrari has recently taken some flak, Sainz asserted that the team was pretty much on the ball this time.

“The strategic calls today? Nailed ’em. Except for that first pit stop, where we lingered for an extra lap when we should’ve dived in immediately. Apart from that minor hiccup, we were on point,” he explained.

“Initially, my pace on the fresh intermediates was strong. But as the race stabilized in those erratic weather conditions, we were back to being mere mortals.”

Ferrari’s Team Principal, Fred Vasseur, explained that the team gambled on a lower downforce setting—a decision that was about as successful as using a sieve to carry water due to Zandvoort’s moody North Sea weather.

“We leaned on the side of lower downforce, and unfortunately, the weather wasn’t playing ball,” Vasseur admitted. “In more predictable conditions, our package would have been more effective. But let’s not hide behind excuses. Our performance was as inconsistent as a teenager’s moods.”

Vasseur also mentioned Charles Leclerc’s performance, stating, “Had you seen what Charles pulled off before that crash in Q3? The guy was on fire. But again, we didn’t get the outcome we were hoping for.”

As for Leclerc, he had to bow out of the race, thanks to floor damage from an early tangle with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, a mishap that robbed him of a significant 60 points of downforce.

Additional reporting by Kevin Scheuren

Other articles to check out:

  • Leclerc Fought On in Dutch GP With Damaged Car Hoping for a Rain Miracle
  • Horner Pushed Red Bull to Make Early Pit Stop Before Dutch GP Came to a Halt
  • Gasly Claims Dutch GP Podium Proves Alpine is Back on Track After Managerial Shake-up

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dutch GP Ferrari Performance

What was Carlos Sainz’s assessment of Ferrari’s performance at the Dutch GP?

Carlos Sainz admitted that despite finishing fifth, Ferrari was far from competitive, describing them as the sixth-fastest car during the race. He said both he and the team pulled off an almost flawless race, but they were nowhere near the pace of the faster cars.

How did weather conditions affect the race?

The Dutch GP was an unpredictable race with mixed weather conditions. Team Principal Fred Vasseur mentioned that their lower downforce setup was not advantageous given the erratic weather sent by the North Sea to Zandvoort’s track.

What mistakes did Ferrari make in their strategy?

According to Sainz, the team’s only significant error was during the first pit stop, when they stayed out for an extra lap instead of pitting immediately. Otherwise, Sainz felt the team nailed their strategic calls.

How did Charles Leclerc fare in the Dutch GP?

Charles Leclerc had to retire from the race due to floor damage sustained from a collision with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri during the first lap. This damage cost him 60 points of downforce, effectively ending his race.

Was this considered a successful race for Ferrari?

While Carlos Sainz acknowledged that pulling off a fifth-place finish was commendable given their pace, both he and Team Principal Fred Vasseur admitted that the performance was far from what they had hoped for.

What did Sainz think of his own performance?

Sainz felt that given the circumstances, he had one of his best drives of the season. He mentioned having a lot of fun on the track despite the car’s uncooperative behavior and the challenges posed by faster competitors.

What other factors influenced the race?

Besides the weather and individual team strategies, there were multiple instances of cars suffering from damage and mechanical failures. For example, Charles Leclerc had to retire due to floor damage, affecting Ferrari’s overall standing in the race.

More about Dutch GP Ferrari Performance

  • Carlos Sainz’s 2023 Season Overview
  • Dutch Grand Prix Highlights and Analysis
  • Ferrari’s Struggles in Recent F1 Seasons
  • Mixed Weather Races and Their Impact on F1 Strategy
  • Understanding Downforce in Formula 1 Racing
  • The Rise and Fall of Charles Leclerc in the 2023 Season
  • Team Principal Fred Vasseur’s Perspective on Ferrari’s Performance
  • The Importance of Pit Stop Strategy in Formula 1

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PitStopPete August 29, 2023 - 2:06 am

That first pit stop tho. A moment of hesitation can cost ya, especially in F1.

LeclercFan_23 August 29, 2023 - 8:04 am

Man, feel bad for Charles, coulda been a game changer if he stayed in. that damage really did him in.

NostalgiaNut August 29, 2023 - 12:09 pm

Remember when Ferrari was the team to beat? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

WeatherWatcher August 29, 2023 - 12:28 pm

Mixed conditions always make for an exciting race! But yeah, it can totally mess up team strategies.

F1Fanatic99 August 29, 2023 - 1:53 pm

Wow, Sainz is really honest bout Ferrari’s performance, huh? Kinda refreshing in the world of PR spin.

StrategistSteve August 29, 2023 - 2:11 pm

Sainz says they nailed the calls ‘cept for one? Sounds like my last relationship, lol.

GearHeadTim August 29, 2023 - 4:38 pm

it’s kinda sad, really. Ferrari used to dominate, now they’re struggling to be in the top 5. what’s goin on??


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