Sainz: Ferrari’s F1 problems more fundamental than tyres

Carlos Sainz says Ferrari’s problems in Formula 1 this year are more “fundamental” than just a tyre degradation issue.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

The Spaniard found out the hard way about Ferrari’s difficulties with race pace at his home grand prix a fortnight ago when he qualified on the front row but then slumped to fifth by the chequered flag – more than 45 seconds adrift of race-winner Max Verstappen.

Ferrari has struggled all season with its SF-23 showing decent pace in single-lap conditions in qualifying but then lacking consistency in the races.

And while this mostly manifests itself in difficulties with tyre management, Sainz has suggested that the truth of the problem is much wider than that.

“I think we keep talking a lot about tyres and degradation, but I think there's also a bit more of a fundamental problem with the race pace,” he said ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.

“I think honestly my analysis, or the team analysis, is that we just lack race pace at the moment, and we need to make a car that is kinder on tyres but also more consistent with the aero.

“That would allow us to stay a bit more on the limit of the car during the whole race. At the moment it just feels like we are having to back off a bit.”

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

Ferrari introduced a major upgrade to its car at the Spanish Grand Prix, which included a new sidepod concept, but it still did not fully overcome its weaknesses.

But while the team is not yet at a point where it has solved its troubles, Sainz said he was happy that the squad was so willing to try things out.

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“We're doing the best every weekend and we're trying different things,” he said. “Every weekend we have new ideas.

“We have new bits on the car every weekend. We try something with tyres, and if it's not with tyres, it is with the suspension. If it's not that, then it is the aero. So yeah, we cannot fault the fact that we are trying everything and I'm sure we will get to the bottom of it.”

He added: “I see a factory full of energy to correct the situation. Barcelona was probably the worst possible place to bring this [new] package to, because it was always going to be our most difficult race of the year so far.

“It was a bit shocking maybe for everyone, and for us too, but when you have new parts you need to bring them, and you need to try them. Hopefully they will work better here around Canada.”

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