Sainz Confesses: Grasping Ferrari’s “Extremely Fickle” F1 Vehicle Is a Top Goal for 2023

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From the onset of 2023, Ferrari’s battle has been real, plagued by excessive tire deterioration and inconsistent race speed.

Such challenges have hindered Scuderia from translating its often jaw-dropping qualifying velocity into steady, race-long grand prix momentum.

Resulting in just three podium finishes, all thanks to Charles Leclerc, the team’s performance has been patchy at best. Leclerc himself nabbed two of his top-three spots after losing the pole position.

As the season’s second half starts, the team is sitting fourth, trailing Aston Martin by five points and Mercedes by 56.

Sainz, who has struggled to match his best performance of fourth place in the season’s opening race in Bahrain, has spoken out about Ferrari’s understanding of the fundamental issues with its car.

The next big task is unraveling the car’s bizarre fluctuations so they don’t spoil the 2024 season.

He confessed that the SF-23 is an “extremely fickle vehicle” which leaves the team scratching their heads, trying to predict how it will behave on different tracks.

“The root issue with the car is something we’ve wrapped our heads around,” Sainz remarked, leading up to the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort this weekend.

“We’ve been on it since the first tweaks of the year, aiming to improve. Our entire enhancement program is zeroed in on that principal flaw.”

He added, “It’s no mystery now that we’ve seen a slip in the car’s consistency this year. Deciphering where we’ll excel or falter on the tracks has become a game of Russian roulette.”

Factors like wind and track temperature sensitivities currently make the car behave unpredictably, as seen in the contrast between Hungary and Spa’s performances.

“And the results were the exact reverse of what we anticipated, signifying something inherent that’s still a puzzle to us,” he admitted.

Ferrari is now dedicating every Friday practice session for the season’s remaining ten races to experimenting and seeking solutions that might give the 2024 car an edge.

Sainz expressed optimism, saying, “We’ve got 10 more races to decode everything. This unpredictability, this ambiguity is precisely our focal point now as we try to connect the dots. And our crosshairs will remain there for the rest of the season.”

Leclerc, Sainz’s teammate, noted that Ferrari isn’t alone in experiencing sharp form fluctuations this season. By ironing out its inconsistencies, the team’s results could skyrocket, especially given the neck-and-neck competition behind the reigning Red Bulls.

“The immediate aim is to fine-tune our consistency. You look at McLaren, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and us, and it’s a roller coaster,” he said. “If we can discover the secret sauce in our car that grants us the consistency to be at our best, we’ll have a significant leg up on the rest. That’s where our binoculars are aimed right now.”

It’s a thrilling period for Ferrari and its fans. As the team barrels towards the 2024 season, their dedication to understanding the SF-23 could indeed pave the way to a triumphant future.

Additional insights by Matt Kew.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Ferrari

What has been Ferrari’s main struggle in the 2023 F1 season?

Ferrari has struggled with excessive tire wear and inconsistent race speed, making it difficult to convert impressive qualifying speeds into consistent race performance over full grand prix distances.

Who has secured the podium finishes for Ferrari in 2023?

Charles Leclerc has been the only one to secure the three podium finishes for Ferrari in 2023, taking two of his top three spots after losing the pole position.

What is Carlos Sainz’s take on the SF-23 car?

Carlos Sainz refers to the SF-23 as an “extremely fickle vehicle,” making it challenging for the team to predict its performance at different circuits. He believes understanding these inconsistencies is crucial for the 2024 project.

How is Ferrari planning to address its inconsistencies for future races?

Ferrari is using every Friday practice session for the remaining ten races of the season to experiment with setups and find answers to enhance the 2024 car’s performance.

What is Charles Leclerc’s perspective on Ferrari’s performance?

Leclerc believes that if Ferrari can find the key to consistent performance, they will have a significant advantage over other teams. He points out that other teams are also experiencing dramatic swings in form, so improving consistency could lead to a marked improvement in results.

How are the team standings for Ferrari as they kick off the second half of the season?

Ferrari is starting the second half of the 2023 season in fourth place, five points behind Aston Martin and 56 points behind Mercedes.

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