Carlos Sainz said Ferrari are targeting another step in the right direction with a new batch of upgrades for the SF-23 set to debut at this weekend’s Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix.
Ferrari brought a major upgrade for the Spanish Grand Prix early in June, but did not make any progress with them in that race, and while they had a bad Qualifying in Canada marred with operational errors, the race pace was decent. Whether their form translates to better odds on top betting apps remains to be seen.
Sainz believes that was a positive indication for Ferrari, he said: “I think it was a good boost for the whole team, mainly looking at the race pace after a couple of difficult races where we were struggling with race pace.
“Finally in Canada, we seemed to have good race pace. Also, the fact that we were going forward in the race and not going backwards, makes a bit of a difference also for the perception of things,” he added.
Asked what Ferrari are hoping for with the new upgrades in Austria; he said: “Well, another step in the right direction. This is definitely the target.
“The team back in Maranello has done an incredible effort to bring them forward to this race. I cannot thank enough the people back in Maranello with the extra hours that everyone’s put in to try and revert the situation and trying to put those extra minutes, extra hours of work to make these parts arrive.
A huge effort being put back at Maranello
“It’s been a huge effort by everyone, and from here, I wanted to congratulate them and tell them that we’re going to do our best to make them work well. And hopefully they’re all worth it and we can be competitive this weekend,” the Spaniard maintained.
However, Sainz warned that upgrades won’t mean Ferrari will be closing the gap to Red Bull any time soon; he pointed out: “There is a big gap between the Red Bull and us.
“To think that we’re going to cut the gap with one upgrade, I think would be naïve and not realistic. Is the upgrade going to help our weaknesses and hopefully make us come closer? Yes. But at the same time, if Red Bull brings an upgrade to Austria, or anytime soon, it also means that your upgrade is less big.
“It’s all relative in F1,” he added. “I do hope that this upgrade is opening, a bit like we saw in Barcelona, a bit of a window of development and new opportunities and new ways to set up the car that help us move in the right direction.
“But I think it would be a bit optimistic, let’s say, to think that suddenly we’re going to be level par with Red Bull, with how competitive they are,” the one-time grand prix winner concluded.