Sainz: F1 needs 'at least half the field' in podium fight

Carlos Sainz believes Formula 1 needs to find a way to ensure "at least half of the field" has a chance to fight for podium finishes

Sainz: F1 needs 'at least half the field' in podium fight

Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have locked out the podium in 10 out of 11 Formula 1 races in 2017 so far, with Lance Stroll's shock third-place finish for Williams in a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix the only exception.

Toro Rosso driver Sainz admitted earlier in the season he felt dismay at the gap between the top teams and the midfield, and addressing the competitive imbalance is one of new owner Liberty's main priorities.

Sainz told Autosport: "I believe in equality, a lot more equality.

"I believe Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, they need to keep winning the championship. But I believe it should be a bit more exciting.

"It should include at least half of the field in a possible, potential podium battle.

"At the moment it's not happening. There's no chance. None of the midfield teams can do a podium under normal circumstances."

Sainz is in his third year with Toro Rosso, and has amassed 99 points since his 2015 grand prix debut - but is yet to finish higher than sixth.

Toro Rosso has never been more than a regular fixture in the F1 midfield, although it is a race-winning team thanks to Sebastian Vettel's 2008 Italian GP victory, which remains the only podium in its 12-year history.

Sainz continued: "I believe if you do a perfect weekend, like for example I did in Monaco [where Sainz finished sixth], I should have a chance of scoring a podium, if I've done everything perfect.

"[Romain] Grosjean in Austria did a very good weekend [for Haas] and still finished P6. I believe there should be a bit more opportunities to shine for the midfield teams that at the moment we don't have."

Asked whether the field could be bunched up using a budget cap, Sainz said: "I don't know. I don't understand about politics so I'm not going to include myself in this discussion.

"But I believe they need to find something, a solution, to bring lap times closer between all 10 teams."

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