Ferrari is smarting from a well below-par start to their 2023 Formula 1 season, the despair now slowly oozing out into the media as Carlos Sainz spoke of his frustrations in the wake of a disappointing 2023 Miami Grand Prix weekend for Tifosi.
Last year, after Round 5 – the first Grand Prix in Miami – Ferrari led the 2022 F1 constructors’ standings with 157 points with Charles Leclerc atop the F1 drivers’ table on 104 points; Sainz was fifth with 53 points.
Now, they head back to Italy after the same race and round, Ferrari are third in the 2023 F1 constructors’ standings with 78, almost half they bagged at this time 12 months ago, while Leclerc is on a paltry 34 points in seventh, with Sainz fifth on 44 points.
Looking back on the weekend in the shadow of the Hard Rock Cafe, in which Leclerc’s win it or bin it side came out with a crash in qualifying, followed by a disappointing afternoon in which beating Kevin Magnussen’s Haas proved to be a sweat.
In the sister Ferrari, Sainz was better in fifth, but a massive 42 seconds adrift of winner Verstappen, and 14 seconds down on third-placed Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso. That’s how far the Reds were from a podium on Sunday.
Carlos: We have more updates for Imola that should help
Talking to Spanish media after his 167th GP, Sainz said:”I felt very good with the mediums and it made me think that a podium was possible, that passing Fernando Alonso was possible. The first stint was perfect and I forced everything I could but with the second stint we shot ourselves in the foot.
“It was very long, with many inconsistencies, small braking lock-ups and errors that, with the wind, made it very difficult. Then (after the tire change), we started to degrade fast and overheat the tyres which showed how little flexibility we have with our car for different strategies.
“As soon as you try something a little different and you go beyond the ideal number of laps, it can take a long time to go on the hard tyre. We suffer a lot with inconsistency and overheating and have to keep testing things. We fought for pole position on Saturday and then Sunday’s race arrives and we get a slap in our face with Red Bull on another planet, Aston Martin with better degradation and the Mercedes who have two or three tenths more pace.”
Leclerc echoed his Ferrari teammate: “We just don’t know what will happen on a new set of tyres, how the car will react to it and how the tyres will behave. For a driver, gaining confidence in your car is very difficult.”
“I think that if we had followed a slightly more standard strategy, going a little longer, we would have suffered less on the hard, but we tried to go for the podium and it may have cost us fourth place. To solve this, for Imola, we have more updates that should help. For Barcelona, we will try to change the car a bit and go in another direction, to see if this can help us in the race pace,” explained Sainz.