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Sainz outlines SF-23 car traits Ferrari must replicate in 2024 F1 season

Carlos Sainz has outlined which traits of Ferrari’s 2023 Formula 1 car the team should replicate for next season, although he concedes these could be sacrificed to challenge Red Bull.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari,

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

The SF-23 proved most competitive in qualifying, with Sainz and team-mate Charles Leclerc combining to land seven grand prix pole positions.

That one-lap success was partly enabled by Red Bull paying close attention to race pace to then pull clear over a longer stint, although Ferrari eased the pressure by struggling to manage the tyres.

Unlocking the Pirellis is where Sainz believes Ferrari should focus, although he has highlighted the SF-23’s straight-line speed and slow-corner performance as elements to carry over.

Asked by Autosport which areas of the outgoing car he wanted to remain for 2024, Sainz outlined: “I would take definitely the straight-line speed and the braking performance and the performance in 90-degree, short duration corners.

“Also, the kerb riding I think is a very strong point. So, the car has very, very strong points.”

However, he added that these strengths may have to be sacrificed so that, overall, Ferrari can take a step forward if the team is to satisfy its “realistic aim” of challenging Red Bull.

The Spaniard continued: “I feel like if we want to have a car for the whole year, maybe we need to give away some of these traits to make sure we're quick everywhere, especially in the race.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

“In the races is where we need to really focus, on understanding what are we doing to this car.

“What are we doing to these tyres that is not allowing us to compete in the races at the level of Red Bull and McLaren in Brazil, for example, in Austin, in circuits where you can clearly see we just don't have the race pace?"

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On the prospect of taking the fight to runaway constructors’ champion Red Bull from the off in 2024, Sainz said: “It has to be our realistic aim. Will we manage to do it? Only time will tell.

“I want the team to be thinking that it is possible because I believe it is.

“Also, we've proven that if McLaren has been able to do these steps during the season, I'm perfectly confident that Ferrari can do it over a winter break.

“I trust this team. I trust the capacity that we have back at home to turn things around.

“There are still circuits where we are on pole by 0.3s to the Red Bull. It's just that it's a very specific trait of the car that really is good. We just need to make it an all-rounder.”

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