Sainz: Easy to give up on "nightmare" 2022 F1 season

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz says he has kept his spirits up during a "nightmare" 2022 Formula 1 season and admits it would have been easy to give up on it.

The Spaniard struggled to come to terms with the Ferrari F1-75 in the first part of the year and had to adjust his driving style to suit it.

However, while his personal form has improved relative to team-mate Charles Leclerc, the car has latterly not been as consistently competitive as it was earlier in the year, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen clinching the record for the most wins in a season with his 14th victory of 2022 in Mexico last weekend.

Sainz, who scored his maiden F1 win at Silverstone, cites his pole at the US GP and a strong race in Mexico as signs that he has made progress despite languishing sixth in the championship behind both Mercedes drivers with two races remaining.

"I just know how to drive," he said in Mexico of his better form. "I mean, it's instinctive. I'm not thinking about driving anymore.

"And you can see the lap times are coming a lot easier. And I'm back to a level that I should have been at the beginning of the year. Now that I'm at that level, our car is maybe not as good.

"It's been a nightmare of a season to be honest because of all these things; all the DNFS, being slow when the car was quick, and now I'm quick and we are not as quick as we used to be. So it's everything that has gone wrong.

"This season has gone wrong, but the positive side is that I'm keeping my spirits up even on a horrible season or impossible to be more difficult season. And I'm still there with my engineers fighting, still finding lap time in this car.

"I think it could have been very easy to give up on it and let the year go away, but the pole in Austin and again, being quick out here today, I think it's a good sign for us."

Sainz led Leclerc home in Mexico as the pair finished a subdued fifth and sixth

Sainz led Leclerc home in Mexico as the pair finished a subdued fifth and sixth

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Sainz is confident that the team can make progress next season as it seeks to close the gap to Red Bull.

PLUS: The 10 steps Ferrari needs to take for the Prancing Horse to be stable

"New year, new car, new regs even with the floor," Sainz said on Ferrari's prospects for 2023.

"We have another chance, and I fully trust that the team will produce another great car like the car that we had this year, and that we will learn from the mistakes done this year.

"I will learn from the mistakes I did this year, and we will be more in the fight and ready to fight. Looking forward also for Mercedes. It looks like they're going to join us at the front."

Sainz also paid tribute to rival Verstappen after his record-breaking tally, stating: "You never expect that, especially when you have a good car at the beginning.

"I wish that I would have felt a bit more comfortable at the beginning of the season to make things also a bit more complicated for Max, and together with Charles put a up bit more of a fight.

"But Max has had an amazing season, he deserves it.

"I think they are dominant now, I think now the Red Bull is starting to be a dominant car, but at the beginning of the season for sure not, and there is where he did a tremendous job.

"My target is next year to start at the level that I am now, which is a pretty decent level, and make things more complicated to Max."

shares
comments
Alpine: F1 2022 engine performance gain worth reliability risks
Previous article

Alpine: F1 2022 engine performance gain worth reliability risks

Next article

F1 reports increase in quarterly revenue in COVID-19 recovery

F1 reports increase in quarterly revenue in COVID-19 recovery
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023