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Ferrari must accept missing F1 podiums if it cannot achieve more - Sainz

Carlos Sainz reckons that Ferrari must be more accepting of finishing just outside of the Formula 1 podium places if it means the team has mustered everything from its package.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

Having been in championship contention during the first half of last season, Ferrari's 2023 fortunes have not been as kind and the team has managed just three podium finishes this season.

All three have been courtesy of Charles Leclerc as Sainz has not managed to stand among the top three finishers this season, as an inconsistent SF-23 car has vacillated throughout the top 10 order.

The continued battle with Mercedes, allied to the greater competitiveness of Aston Martin and now McLaren, has offered Ferrari stern competition with mere tenths between each team. This has proven to be the difference between top three results and finishes amid the lower reaches of the points.

Sainz reckons that the closeness of these battles means that Ferrari should celebrate the middle ground more often. By that measure, he added that it must accept weekends where results may not be particularly stellar if the team and drivers have performed to their utmost.

"It's been obviously relatively a frustrating start when we kind of realised that Red Bull was such a big step ahead of us and it was going to be difficult to challenge them," Sainz explained.

"I think we all expected the car to be more competitive, ourselves to be more competitive and the field has got really, really tight.

"Now you're going through these massive up and downs where some weekends you might be fighting for P3 and others you're just finishing P8, which in performance swing just might mean you are 0.1s in front missing or 0.1s behind that tight field, which is not a lot.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, collide at the start of the race

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, collide at the start of the race

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

"But the end result looks very different in Ferrari when you come back with a P3 or P8.  And now we just need to kind of accept that's the fight that we are in.

"If one weekend we need to go and fight for P5 and that's the maximum we can do, we need to celebrate the fact that we've done the maximum with what we have this year.

Sainz says that the team must stop putting pressure on itself to promise results that it cannot deliver, and divert its focus on conducting its duties over a race weekend in the correct manner.

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He says that this will allow the team to build up its haul of points in the constructors' championship where it currently sits fourth, but only five points behind Aston Martin ahead.

"[We need to] focus more on maximising the car's potential, and the team's performance in this second half of the season," the Spaniard added.

"We want to make sure we maximise our constructor points, stop kind of expecting a win or a podium, and just focus on nailing the principles and be consistent."

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