Ferrari failures: Sainz drops bombshell

“Fifth place was the best I could achieve” says Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr as the Spanish driver drops a bombshell as to why Ferrari had so many problems in Barcelona.

“You can also take something positive. The fact that you are on the front row with Carlos is positive,” notes Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur after the Formula One race in Spain. But if truth be told, there was not much to be positive about for the Scuderia on Sunday.


Sainz worked hard

Charles Leclerc finished outside the points, while Sainz dropped from second on the grid to fifth. In doing so, he says: “I worked even harder today, but you can’t see that.”

“I spent the whole race managing the tyres because we were pushing them very hard,” says the Spaniard. “I couldn’t push. We just managed all the time and tried to make it to a certain lap in the stints, which we still didn’t always manage.”

Sainz had pitted for the first time after just 15 laps. By comparison, Mercedes, by whom he had also been overtaken on the track, managed ten more laps.

But even on the medium and on the hard it did not necessarily get better for Sainz – on the contrary. On the medium, he lost even more ground and was thus out of the fight for the top positions.

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“We are not consistent enough from one stint to the other,” said team boss Vasseur. “We lost fifteen seconds in the second stint, five in the first and five in the third.”

Even George Russell and Sergio Perez, who had started outside the top 10, overtook Sainz and still drove away from him. “Unfortunately, that’s our situation,” he said.


Sainz then goes on to drop a bit of a bombshell highlighting the Ferrari car main weaknesses.

“We know that race pace and fast corners are our biggest weakness and unfortunately in Barcelona there is an asphalt that makes for high degradation and a layout that also makes for high degradation. And just the fast corners,” Sainz said.

“And that’s why we had such big problems today. I gave it my all and did as optimum stints as I could, but unfortunately fifth place was the best I could do today.”



No chance at the start against Verstappen

Only once in the race did Sainz have the chance to overtake another driver and move up the field: right at the start against Max Verstappen. Unlike the drivers behind him, the world champion had strapped on the harder medium tyres and was therefore at a disadvantage.

Nevertheless, Sainz did not manage to get past Verstappen on the outside in turn 1.

“I knew he was on medium tyres, so maybe I had a bit more grip. But he defended well and pushed me to the outside. He did what he had to do,” said the Ferrari driver.

“I could have gone through the run-off zone, but I wanted to stay legal.”


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In the end, however, it probably wouldn’t have made any difference, because sooner or later the Red Bull driver would probably have overtaken him again.

But Sainz denied that he had taken the Soft at the start specifically to overtake Verstappen:

“We simply thought it was the right tyre for the first stint. And if you saw what Lewis [Hamilton] did on the Soft, it was a pretty robust tyre.”

“For us at the moment it’s not, but for the others it looked like they were able to push significantly longer and harder,” Sainz said.



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Update came on “worst track”

For him, the 45-second gap is simply Ferrari’s current pace when he thinks back to Miami, where he had a similar gap. The big surprise for him was simply that Mercedes has now squeezed in between Red Bull and Ferrari.

The Silver Arrows also had an upgrade recently that seems to be working well:

“Mercedes proved today that they have made a good step. That’s a good reference,” Sainz thinks. Ferrari’s new package, including the new side box, on the other hand, did not prove itself in Barcelona.


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But the Spaniard doesn’t want to overstate that just yet: “I know the factory worked enormously hard, but it probably came on our worst track of the season,” he says. “From that point of view, I don’t think we have seen the best yet.”

“We have identified our weaknesses and we know exactly where we are lacking. The feedback is there and so is the intention. But we need time and we need to keep trying and keep bringing new things to improve the package. We are doing our best. I see the team united and I see the team in Maranello going full throttle.”

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