Sainz: Jeddah F1 track will compress midfield battle

Formula 1's midfield battle could 'compress' massively at this weekend's high-speed Saudi Grand Prix venue, reckons Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

Sainz: Jeddah F1 track will compress midfield battle

While the fast sections of the new Jeddah track are expected to favour Mercedes in the fight at the front, the characteristics looks set to blow wide open the battle for best of the rest.

Ferrari has been better on higher downforce circuits, while closest rival McLaren has excelled at lower downforce venues. Plus, AlphaTauri appears to have unlocked more pace from its car recently, and Alpine is on a high after Fernando Alonso's podium in Qatar.

That is why Sainz thinks this weekend's fight could be incredibly close, as the midfield teams all still jostle for positions in the constructors' championship.

"The last few tracks, it's a bit unknown," said the Spaniard. "Obviously Jeddah we have no idea what we are going to find there.

"It looks like a very high-speed circuit, and we have seen in a high-speed circuit that with cars like Alpine, McLaren, and AlphaTauri, all of a sudden the field compresses a lot when it's a high speed circuit. So it could be a very tight battle in Jeddah.

"Then in Abu Dhabi, with the new changes they've done to the track also, it looks like a higher speed track than what it used to be. There are less chicanes, and more high speed nature, and this could also bring the whole midfield back together.

"So it will be a very, very tough couple of races. But if we continue working as we are, working as a team, I think we can be confident that we keep bringing points back and delivering like we are trying to."

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Ferrari currently enjoys a 39.5-point advantage over McLaren in its fight for third place in the constructors' championship with just two rounds remaining.

But although things look promising for the Italian squad in that battle, team boss Mattia Binotto remains cautious about the situation.

Read Also:

"Obviously the championship is not over yet, there are two races to go, and we are really focusing on trying to be the best in the last two ones," he said.

"But if I look at where we were last year, sixth, with little points in the championship, I think we made the most we could do with the current regulations, and the fact most of the car had also very limited opportunities of development as well.

"Overall, I think that the team has made great progress with what was possible to do. For that, I am so happy because third position is a great output for the efforts."

shares
comments
Sauber chairman opens up on disagreements that triggered resignation
Previous article

Sauber chairman opens up on disagreements that triggered resignation

Next article

Sir Frank Williams obituary: F1 team owner legend dies aged 79

Sir Frank Williams obituary: F1 team owner legend dies aged 79
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022