Formula One

Sainz unable to ‘push’ on worst high-deg track for Ferrari


Carlos Sainz says his run to fifth in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix was a story of tyre degradation on perhaps the most unsuitable track for Ferrari’s SF-23.

In qualifying, Sainz made the most of his car’s single-lap pace which allowed him to launch his race on the front row of the grid alongside poleman and future race winner Max Verstappen.

But that was as good as it good for the Spaniard whose soft-shod SF-23 could not overhaul the Red Bull driver’s medium-shod RB19 on the run down to the first corner.

Thereafter, Sainz remained second until his switch to the medium tyre on lap 15, the local hero falling to P8 after his pitstop from where he recovered to fourth behind Verstappen and Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

A switch to the hard compound did little to improve his day as he was overtaken by Sergio Perez in the race’s final stage.

“Honestly, I just spent the whole race managing tyres because we know we are very hard on them and with this high deg circuit, I just couldn’t push,” Sainz said.

“We know it’s a weakness of our car and coming to a high deg circuit and a two-stop race, we were just managing the whole way trying to make it to the target laps of the stints and still falling short in a few of them.

“The weaknesses of our car are coming alive on a circuit like this with the high-speed corners and how hard we are on tyres. But it also shows that yesterday we must have done a pretty good lap.

“I think today was again, a bit back to where the car is at the moment in race pace, and yeah, probably this sort of track is not great for us.”

Contrary to Mercedes whose W14 package has undeniably gained from the updates introduced last week in Monaco, Ferrari’s new-spec car that also features revamped sidepods appeared immune to the changes in Barcelona.

But again, Sainz reckons that the Circuit de Catalunya’s characteristics provided the worst possible environment for Ferrari’s upgraded contender.

“Difficult to tell,” he replied when asked the team’s revised bodywork.

“I know the factory did a tremendous effort to bring them. Probably we brought them to our weakest track of this season because of the characteristics of the track.


“So probably we haven’t seen the best of them yet.

“I still believe with the bouncing and the high-speed weakness we have we were never going to be very competitive around here.

“So, it’s too early to tell but I think they did a tremendous effort to bring it, so hats off to all the factory, let’s keep pushing and let’s keep improving.”

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Sainz unable to ‘push’ on worst high-deg track for Ferrari

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