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.

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"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."

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