Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Monza, 2022

Sainz encouraged by progress at ‘young, maturing’ Ferrari team

2022 F1 season

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says Ferrari’s improved form in the last race at Monza shows the team is heading in the right direction, despite its dip in competitiveness after Formula 1’s summer break.

Ferrari began the season well and held strong positions in the championships early on. However it has faced an onslaught from Red Bull since then and is almost certain to lose both titles to their rivals.

At the races in Hungary, Belgian and the Netherlands, Ferrari found it increasingly difficult to beat the resurgent Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. However they were comfortable ahead of the silver cars at home last weekend.

Sainz believes that, had he not had to start at the back due to a power unit penalty, the team could have even threatened Max Verstappen for victory at Monza.

“If I wouldn’t have had a penalty, with both cars up there, we could have put Max under a lot of pressure,” he said. “Unfortunately I had to take a penalty, we couldn’t divide strategy, so I think we left Max to choose the contrary option of Charles [Leclerc].

“I think when we stop having penalties and we go to favourable tracks like Singapore and I’m up there, then we will have two cars, not to gamble, but to play around with Max and I think we will be in a better position. I think not having me up there, with the pace I had, was detrimental.”

Ferrari is in the process of rebounding from its slump to sixth place in the constructors championship two years ago. Mattia Binotto, who took over as team principal from Maurizio Arrivabene, reshaped the team and brought Sainz in as a replacement for Sebastian Vettel last season.

Sainz says the team has made significant progress since he arrived and is encouraged by what he sees behind the scenes.

“It’s a good reaction from our team that is maturing, a team that is learning a lot from this difficult year, and a team that has done a massive step compared to last year in terms of putting ourselves back into winning contention.

“But we’re still doing mistakes, we’re still learning. It’s a young team I think and we are young in working together.

“I think there’s been progress this year and even though it’s a difficult second half of the season, I think we’re going to take a lot of knowledge from this to [use] in the last few races and to go for it next year again.”

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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15 comments on “Sainz encouraged by progress at ‘young, maturing’ Ferrari team”

  1. Sure, Carlos, sure. Sorry, but the pace just was not there to challenge Max. Would either of the Ferrari’s have been able to go as long as Max did on the softs, with comparable pace?

    Or would either of them have been able to keep pace on the mediums to get Red Bull in a panic and make strategic compromises? Off course, when we play “what if” games – remember that Perez also had a penalty and was starting further back as was Max himself – he only started 7th but was onto Leclerc pretty soon, just waiting to up the pace when deemed sensible.

    The more realistic scenario is that Ferrari would have had not had the pace and on top would have made a mess of their strategy (bigger than the bad gamble of a stop under the early VSC was) to finish no better than they did in the end.

  2. Sainz believes that, had he not had to start at the back due to a power unit penalty, the team could have even threatened Max Verstappen for victory at Monza.

    Sainz had a solid race which looked nice on TV with the focus on his overtakes, but it was nothing special.
    Even Perez on harder tyres was faster after they extinguished his brake fire.

  3. “But we’re still doing mistakes, we’re still learning. It’s a young team I think and we are young in working together.

    Maybe Sainz didn’t get the memo on Ferrari being the oldest team on the grid, with a ‘winning’ mentality that’s engrained in all their employees. You could have easily mistaken Sainz as an Alfa Romeo or Haas driver after he made this statement. Since when did Ferrari become that team that is constantly learning and improving but not really a championship contending team?

    1. Yeah, I get he’s trying to cover and motivate the team, but this excuse really isn’t going to fly when you’re one of the three “top teams” with decades of history to its name. You either perform or you don’t.

    2. Lol youngest team as the oldest of the F1 history maybe if they enploy non Italians on key spots (non fireable for 5 years) THEN they could change the way they handle all operations.

      1. Sainz says what Ferrari don’t want to say. In a way Binotto has not lied to us. He has said they we don’t need to change anything. We are not perfect and we want to better. If you’re whole team is just learning it will take time to get to the level where they need to be. Of course Binotto doesn’t want to say mistakes but a young person where ever he is will make them. At the pitwall, at the wheel, at the headmasters chair…

  4. He only cares about looking good. He has been as slow as he always is but he masks it by throwing everything under the bus.

    1. He had a good race, was the quicker at recovering out of the 3 starting at the back with a good car, hamilton being the slowest, since even perez was quicker but had to make a stop early on, but from here to challenging verstappen, I find it unlikely.

      1. And yet in the slowest car of the 3 starting at the back, Hamilton still pipped Perez in a car that was a second a lap faster than his. What does that say about Perez? Early stop or not, Perez had such a huge car advantage as shown by Verstappen than it’s pretty poor he didn’t beat either Hamilton or Sainz.

        1. @slowmo

          I don’t think anyone is denying how rubbish Perez has been. He had a blip in form for the opening 6 to 7 races where he seemed competitive, which was just the phase where Max was getting up to speed with the new regs and cars. Once Max was on it, Perez is back to being a better part of a second off his pace. Sainz was the opposite. He struggled initially, but now seems a whole lot closer to Charles. I would still rate Carlos higher than Perez this season though. Perez is just a stand in till Mercedes gets more competitive, and Red bull realises they need a proper racer in that 2nd seat.

  5. Everyone seems to forget that Verstappen is just poodling around in front with an over 15 seconds lead. After Hungary Hamilton and the british media were convinced they could have won and now Carlos. They don’t even have the slightest chance. Just watch the (rather boring) onboard of Verstappen in Hungary, Spa, Monza (etc, etc) after he got in the lead. He is just cruising around and saving everything he can, while chatting with his engineer.

    1. Yeah, the issue is the Verstappen fans don’t want the narrative that he’s winning with a car that is so much more dominant than any other car. Hamilton said it recently that Verstappen is unbeatable given his car advantage and the only way anyone will beat him this year now is if he has issues in a race. That’s F1 though, sometimes you get a unbeatable package.

      1. Oh wow, that sounds just like the last, Mercedes dominated, decade.

  6. Maybe someone can fill me in. What exactly happened that Ferrari ended up with such a young team? A team with such history, you’d think they could transition smoothly. Was it other teams hiring away their engineers/admin? Did they all retire at the same time? It’s just a bit weird to see a team that was so complete back in the Brawn/Todt/Schumacher days talking about how great it is that they’re ‘maturing’.

    1. Sainz and Leclerc are a young team.

      I’m sure you all understand really.

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