Sainz has put a lot of emphasis on winter testing as the Ferrari Formula 1 driver seeks to not blame himself this year for failing to gain points in the F1 championship. Spaniard Carlos Sainz has been working hard this winter to be as prepared as possible for the new F1 season, as he seeks to avoid the same difficulties as in 2022.
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has placed “paramount importance” on three days of winter testing this year in order to be better prepared than last year for the first race of the 2023 season.
In 2022, Carlos Sainz had a complicated start to the season with Ferrari, with several retirements in the first part of the year (four before the break and two after the break) costing him valuable world championship points. While some of these retirements were due to reliability problems, others were the result of mistakes on the part of the Spaniard, who finished fifth in the drivers’ standings.
“Winter testing important for me”
With the 2023 Formula 1 season just around the corner, Sainz has placed a high priority on his winter preparations and the three days of testing in Bahrain last week to ensure he can start the new campaign with Ferrari better prepared than ever.
“This winter I had only one thing in mind, to prepare myself as well as possible physically, better than last year, and above all to give more importance to these pre-season tests,” explained Carlos Sainz in an interview with Spanish media outlet Soymotor.
“I feel that in part it is my fault that I had a bad first part of the season last year, especially because I didn’t understand certain things about the car and I didn’t pay attention to the details that you can learn during these three days of testing.”
“So I put a lot of importance on these three days to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I want to arrive better prepared for the first race and give more importance to this first part of the season.”
Lack of testing hurts
In three days of testing, Carlos Sainz completed more than 200 laps in the SF-23, or more than 1,000 kilometres, and the Spaniard placed great importance on every lap he completed, now well aware of the importance of these winter tests, as Formula One is the only sport where athletes are not allowed to train as they wish.
The Spaniard blames this lack of testing for hurting his chances.
“We are the only sport where we only get to touch the ball three times before the first match. That’s why during these 200 laps, 70 a day, you make every lap very important because they are practice laps that you can’t do in the race,” added the Ferrari driver.
“In free practice you can’t test because the track is constantly changing and you change tyres, fuel load. You can just confirm if it works or not, but you don’t learn anything.”
“I have memories of pre-season testing where I managed to find details in the car and was more than prepared for the first race. Then I have memories of other pre-season tests that, because of reliability issues or other things, I couldn’t find details.”
“For me, these three days are all about those details and setting up the car because you know you can’t do that in a race [weekend]. You push it to the limit to see how it reacts, and that’s how you create a database in your head, you make notes with your engineers to know later on depending on the track you’re going to how the car is going to perform.”
The 2023 Formula One World Championship kicks off this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first round of a season consisting of 23 Grands Prix.