Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Sainz will be nervous about Ferrari move after their “horrific” Spa pace – Brawn

2020 F1 season

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Carlos Sainz Jnr will have doubts over his move to Ferrari next year having seen his future team’s performance at Spa-Francorchamps, according to Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn.

Ferrari qualified 13th and 14th last weekend and finished in the same positions. The team struggled for straight-line performance, as it has all season, but was also beaten by engine customer Alfa Romeo at the Belgian circuit.

Brawn, a former Ferrari technical director, said he does not believe the team’s loss of performance is entirely due to the weakness of its power unit.

“I’ve been in a situation like Ferrari have found themselves in at Spa, where you don’t get tyres to work, the temperature doesn’t come and the drop off in performance is dramatic,” he said.

“Regardless of what people say about the deficit they may have with the engine following the technical clarifications, you don’t lose 1.3s per lap from one year to next in that metric alone. They just couldn’t get the tyres in the zone The fact it was colder at Spa, would not have helped either.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020
Ferrari “need a very big step on the engine” – Sainz
“When that happens, the performance drops off and looks horrific. If they can make that step and get the tyres working properly again, I think the performance will snap back in. They still won’t look race-winning, but it will become more respectable.”

Sainz, who failed to start yesterday’s race after a power unit problem caused an exhaust failure on his McLaren, is due to join Ferrari next year. But Brawn said he won’t be impressed by what he’s seen of his future team so far.

“This has been a tough year for him, but he’s a pretty positive guy. He’s a very strong character, his career has been no easy ride after all. I’ve always rated him, I think he’s a great driver and he’ll manage this situation.

“But what looked like a dream move to Ferrari next year isn’t looking too good right now and inevitably, he must be nervous about his prospects next season.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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26 comments on “Sainz will be nervous about Ferrari move after their “horrific” Spa pace – Brawn”

  1. Well, jokes aside, what other option Sainz had? If he wants to win races and be successful, never mind battling for a championship one day, if the door at Ferrari opens you get in.

    I think everyone cracked a laugh seeing Sainz shake his head as the Ferraris were overtaken oh so easily. But, realistically, the contract he signed at Ferrari was always going to be his only chance of being in a top team, regardless of their current status.

    1. @fer-no65 Ricciardo apparently knocked back the Ferrari drive to move to McLaren who by current performance and trajectory will be a front runner next yr that has been clear for some time. Brawn is right about one thing the huge deficit is not just down to the PU the chassis is rubbish, and Sainz & Leclerc are stuck with them till 2022. Unless some hanky panky goes on.

      1. Ricciardo’s move doesn’t look that inspired either… Renault has been improving, slowly but surely, especially on fast & flowing tracks, where they seem to be the 3rd fastest car this year, clearly better than McLaren. Ofcourse, that could mean nothing in regrads to next season, but it looks like they are getting their act together lately.

        1. @gechichan they might be strong at fast circuits, but on the other hand McLaren does seem to have a slightly more balanced car as, when you look at the average finishing position of the highest placed car, McLaren are still slightly better than Renault in that respect (average of 6.8 versus 7.2, excluding the fluke podium for McLaren in the first race).

          McLaren have also been the slightly more consistent points scorer, as Renault recorded a double non-points scoring finish only one race earlier in Barcelona, whereas McLaren have scored points in every single race. Performance has improved a bit, but they’re still short of the target of 4th in the WCC that Abiteboul had set for them at the start of this season and I wouldn’t say that they have managed to top the midfield pack.

          Whilst the team has been making improvements, considering that Renault has a higher budget and a larger workforce than McLaren, you would nevertheless have expected more from the team. In that respect, although Abiteboul has talked about the incoming budget cap helping Renault, the fact that McLaren seem to be a slightly more efficient team – given they’re fairly level with Renault even on a smaller budget – suggests that maybe it’s not a bad move overall, as the budget cap might not necessarily give Renault quite as much of a boost as Abiteboul seems to think it will.

        2. @gechichan The Renault car seems to be fast only on circuits that reward straight-line speed, not as competitive on the more corner-rich ones.

    2. Well is Ferrari going to be a top team @fer-no65? They’re losing nearly all of the budget advantage they’ve had, and evidently lost the Ferrari Institutional Advantage they’ve had. They still have the organisational problems they’ve always had, apparently.

      McLaren have Bahraini money, a new wind tunnel in construction, a Mercedes powertrain, James Key and Andreas Seidl.

      And on top of that he’s going up against Charles Leclerc. I reckon between Carlos, Dan and Fernando, Charles is the one with the worst prospects.

  2. The TV director cut to him a few times during the race when the Ferraris were getting passed, he looked pretty sullen!

    But really, was he not prepared for this when signing the deal? Considering Elkann’s comments about the teams immediate prospects.

    1. @knewman Ferrari basically in a rebuilding phase now, and will forgo any success in the short term. They’ve basically said that there’s no point dropping major cash on a 4 time world champion to lead the charge in the interim.. and locking in Leclerc and Sainz now, is a move for the future. In the mean time, those guys get a kick out of driving for the great Ferrari, even if its down the order.

      They’d be hoping for success in 2022, just like everyone else. The current state of affairs doesn’t bode well though.

      1. “Rebuilding phase”, we been hearing the same thing over and over again for more than a decade.

  3. Sainz move to Ferrari and I think about a popular song with a part of it that goes…

    …. Watching some good friends screaming ‘Let me out’….

    I just hope he enjoys his next two years there.

    1. Pressure certainly has much to do with it.

  4. Well next year will probably bring him no joy, I rather expect him to spend most of the time following his team-mate or watching his old car beat him. The gamble is on whether Ferrari can get their act together in 2022 for the rule change, which given how generally successful the team has been it’s a reasonable bet. That said though the engine trickery seems to have harmed them quite heavily and that’s obviously not all their problems, and that’s without pointing out that Ferrari are pitching Leclerc as their focus. Also given Ferrari have Illott, Shwartzman and Schumi Jr as young drivers too I think Sainz could find himself only holding his Ferrari drive for a relatively short amount of time.

    Then again how could he turn it down? He’s not considered for Mercedes, he lost Renault and Red Bull didn’t want him so this is his best chance of getting into a ‘front running’ operation, ignoring McLaren. I just think Ferrari might be more short lived for him than he might hope, and long-term staying at McLaren was probably a better option.

  5. He was picked being the slower, and considerably cheaper driver compared to RIC…

  6. Mark in Florida
    1st September 2020, 0:45

    I think Carlos knows next year is not going to be anything other than dismal. Ferrari will be concentrating on the new regs and trying to develop a winner for 2022. Ferrari will be back they are just on a downswing of performance similar to where McLaren was. No team stays on top forever regs change , situations change, people change. Ferrari will claw their way back eventually.

  7. Is it really appropriate for Brawn to be commenting about the plight of Ferrari or any team individually for that matter?

    Whilst he’s not wrong, I’d have thought someone in his current position should be restricting his public comments to matters of the sport, regulations etc. and not get involved in specific commentary about any team.

    1. Yeah I was about to comment the same, would rather here him talk more about his plans for the future of the sport and what he is working on now. Not be another hat in the ring commenter as he seems to be on a wealth of issues lately.

      1. In fairness, he’s almost certainly responding to a direct question, as is often the case in these matters.

  8. He’s never going to be WC anyway, so it doesn’t matter.
    Just being honest.

    1. He can win races though

    2. I’m sure people said that in 2008 about Button too.

      1. @broke84 +1.

        F1 these days is just landing in the right seat at the right time. Button got his chance in 2009 and grabbed it. After that he was a teammate who kept Lewis honest throughout their partnership. Bottas got a chance in 2017 and has won races these past years just because he is in a mercedes. Replace him with any driver(excluding Luca Badoer) and they would be doing the same. For Sainz, the timing may seem bad but Ferrari is still the second most successful team in these current regulations and will most probably be there again when all of this mess is sorted out.

        1. @knightameer I half agree with this but I wouldn’t say f1 is “just” about being in the right seat at the right time as you have to be better than at least your team-mate, Button in my opinion was always underrated, yes he required the car to be just so but he was also very gentle and aggresive enough when needed. I wouldn’t say he was better than Barrichello but he suited the Brawn better

  9. Sainz demoted from McLaren to Ferrari while Vettel may have an option replacing Kimi at Alfa… which at this stage is a promotion… omg…

  10. Lets be realistic here, ferrari will surely be faster than mcalaren after the rule changes… he’s just going to have to bear the 2021 season, and try to use it to beat leclerc to establish number 1 status once the rule changes are applied.

    1. Ferrari are still going to be nowhere in 2022 if they can’t sort out their engine. They’ve had 6 years to do that and I don’t see it happening any time soon (legally).

  11. As others have pointed out, I think some people are getting a bit carried away with just how off the pace Ferrari are at the moment. O.K. in this race they looked really bad but this was partly due to the team not being able to get their tyres working. The car obviously has chassis design problems as well. They may have had an awful race at Spa but they are still in fifth place in the championship and Leclerc has achieved some reasonable finishes on some other circuits.

    They ought to be able to tweak some of this for 2021 even if they cannot do all that much about the engine performance. I certainly think that with the major rule changes for 2022 they could be challenging for podiums again even if they don’t get any wins. So Carlos’ future does not I think look quite so bad as some people are trying to portray it.

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