Sainz: Monaco too narrow nowadays

Sainz: Monaco too narrow nowadays

Sainz: Monaco too narrow nowadays
Carlos Sainz said his clash with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon on lap 12 of the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix just shows that the iconic track was too narrow for modern day Formula 1 cars.

Carlos Sainz had a tough race in Monaco, finishing eighth having started from fourth, his race compromised by an early clash with Esteban Ocon costing him a damaged front wing, while later on spinning in the wet while still on slick tyres, his switch for intermediate a bit late as per his admission.

That is not to mention the tense ongoing discussions with his race engineers, complaining and questioning every decision made by the Ferrari pit wall, which speaks volumes of the Spaniard’s frustration, and the situation within the Scuderia.

“High adrenaline, high excitement on the radio like always in Monaco,” he told Sky Sports F1 after the race, referring to his radio exchange with his team.

“The first pit stop surprised me because I was on a very quick in lap on the hard tyre, thinking I was going to extend and overcut Esteban. We boxed and were one second behind which I didn’t get. I will talk with them now. With the pit stop and rain coming, I thought we were going to use the hard for a bit longer.

“The second stop was one lap too late but that was probably my fault, trying to compensate the frustration from the first stop by trying something differently and I got it wrong,” he admitted.

Asked about his incident with Ocon, Sainz chose to blame the Alpine driver and the Monaco track being too narrow, while Kevin Magnussen for example pulled of a really nice move on Williams’ Logan Sargeant at Mirabeau.

“I was taking a shot with Esteban but he braked in the middle of the track. I had no room on the left or right,” he said. “I’m glad nothing happened but it just shows two cars don’t fit on this track. It’s too narrow nowadays.”

In Ferrari‘s post race brief; the Spaniard added: It was an eventful race in Monaco today. The final result is not what I was aiming for because I had good pace with every compound and P8 is frustrating.

“Pit stops were key today but they were all difficult calls, especially the change to Inter tyres, as the rain picked up very quickly and the spin with the slicks obviously made me lose some positions.

“I leave Monaco with a bitter taste, but next up is my home race and we need to keep focused,” Sainz concluded.

Matters not any better on the other side of the Ferrari Garage

In the other Ferrari, Charles Leclerc had to start three places down from where he qualified (third), after being penalized for impeding McLaren’s Lando Norris. He finished the race in sixth after yet another frustrating home race for the Monegasque.

Leclerc ruled out strategy mistakes this time around in Monaco; he said: “We have done mistakes on strategy in the past. I don’t think this was a mistake. In those conditions, you have more probability of having a safety car, with so many cars on slicks in the rain.

“So we were waiting for a safety car by someone making a mistake. That didn’t happen and that’s it. With the benefit of hindsight, stopping before was the right decision.”

“We had a very difficult car in traffic. Our pace is better than what we have shown today. In the end, I couldn’t do much more. The car was very difficult to drive in the wet,” he lamented.

Leclerc added in Ferrari’s press release: “We were on the backfoot from the moment we got the penalty yesterday.

“I have no regrets about the decisions we made regarding our strategy. It is what it is, but it’s really the grid penalty that worked against us.

“There are still a lot of races left this season and we have several updates coming which I hope will let us get closer to the Red Bulls,” Leclerc concluded.

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur summed the race up, he said: :The conditions were very difficult to manage because the rain turned out to be worse than forecast, so you cannot really blame Carlos for the mistake, but we need to look at why our pace was not so strong in the wet.

“Looking at the weekend as a whole, our qualifying pace was good and we have to aim to repeat that next week in Barcelona. The field is so tight you have to put everything together and the slightest mistake is costly.

“We will have some updates on the car which should be a step forward in terms of performance, so let’s wait and see what we can do in Spain,” the Frenchman concluded.