Carlos Sainz’s recent triumph at the Singapore Grand Prix marked a significant milestone for Ferrari in the 2023 Formula 1 season. Securing his second consecutive pole position, Sainz managed to capitalize on a less-than-stellar weekend for Red Bull, ending their winning streak and providing the Scuderia with a much-needed boost. However, amidst the celebrations, Sainz has issued a reality check – the fundamental issues with Ferrari’s SF-23 haven’t miraculously disappeared.
In response to a query from F1 Flow.com about whether Ferrari had managed to rectify its unpredictable handling, Sainz candidly stated, “No, honestly, there is nothing fundamental that has changed on the car since the beginning of the season.” This statement underlines the persistent challenges faced by the Italian team.
Sainz went on to explain that the SF-23 remains a complex beast, excelling in certain aspects while faltering in others. Its adaptability shines at circuits like Monza and Singapore, where it finds its rhythm. Yet, at tracks like Zandvoort and Silverstone, it becomes a handful for the drivers, making it a demanding task to tame its quirks. The hunt for the perfect setup continues, with Sainz and the team tirelessly experimenting weekend after weekend.
“It’s still a tricky car, and we’re still trying to find the right set-up. We’ve been working hard to try and find the sweet spot, and probably we still haven’t found it yet,” Sainz admitted. However, his approach is pragmatic. He’s willing to try different strategies to extract more speed and improve lap times, even if it doesn’t necessarily make the car more predictable.
But what about the race? Does Ferrari’s success in Singapore signal a turning point? Sainz was quick to point out that the race performance is a different ballgame. “It is true that in the race, even in Singapore, we were nothing special, with tire wear, tire degradation, it still has its weaknesses that we need to address.”
The unpredictability of Ferrari’s performance makes it difficult to predict where they’ll shine next. Sainz noted, “Looking at track characteristics, none of the tracks that are coming are anywhere close to Singapore or Monza, which are probably the two extremes. It is impossible to tell which tracks are going to suit us. But still, the trend of being quick in qualifying and struggling a bit in the race is always going to be there.”
When asked if Singapore should serve as a blueprint for Ferrari’s race weekends, Sainz acknowledged the team’s role in the victory. “Yes, and I think we also need to give credit to the team. Okay, I did my job with the DRS and with the pace management, but everything else was executed very, very well.”
Despite not having the fastest race car in Singapore, Sainz emphasized the importance of the team’s flawless execution. He concluded optimistically, “So, I think we can be proud of it and give a bit of recognition to the team. Now we can keep building that momentum and confidence in ourselves for next year.”
As Ferrari looks ahead to the remainder of the season and the challenges of 2024, they must grapple with the enigmatic SF-23. While the team basks in the glory of Singapore, the quest for consistency and a car that tames its unpredictability remains a top priority.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ferrari’s Unpredictability
Q: What is the significance of Carlos Sainz’s win in Singapore for Ferrari?
A: Carlos Sainz’s victory in Singapore marked a significant moment for Ferrari in the 2023 Formula 1 season. It ended Red Bull’s winning streak and provided Ferrari with a much-needed boost in morale and confidence.
Q: Has Ferrari managed to address the unpredictability of their SF-23 car?
A: According to Carlos Sainz, there haven’t been any fundamental changes to the SF-23 since the beginning of the season. The car remains unpredictable, excelling at some tracks while struggling at others, making it a challenging machine to tame.
Q: How does the SF-23 perform in races compared to qualifying sessions?
A: The SF-23’s performance in races is different from its performance in qualifying. Ferrari tends to be quick in qualifying but faces challenges in the race, such as tire wear and degradation, which they still need to address.
Q: Can we expect Ferrari to replicate their Singapore success at other circuits?
A: It’s challenging to predict where Ferrari will shine next. Sainz mentioned that upcoming tracks have different characteristics compared to Singapore or Monza, making it impossible to determine their suitability for the SF-23. However, a trend of excelling in qualifying and facing race difficulties is likely to persist.
Q: What role did the team play in Ferrari’s Singapore win?
A: While Carlos Sainz played a crucial role with his driving skills, he also credited the team for executing the race strategy flawlessly. Despite not having the fastest race car, the team’s performance was vital in securing the victory.
Q: What are Ferrari’s priorities as they look ahead to the remainder of the season and 2024?
A: Ferrari’s top priority is addressing the unpredictability of the SF-23 and achieving more consistent performance. They must work on finding the right setup and solutions to challenges like tire wear. As they build momentum and confidence, they aim to be competitive in the upcoming seasons.