Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2022

Ferrari need double podium to ward off Mercedes for second – Sainz

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In the round-up: Carlos Sainz Jnr says Ferrari must get both cars on the podium this weekend to ensure Mercedes do not overtake them for second place

In brief

Ferrari need double podium to ward off Mercedes for second – Sainz

Carlos Sainz Jnr says Ferrari must get both cars on the podium this weekend to ensure Mercedes do not overtake them for second place in the constructors’ championship.

Ferrari head into the final race in Abu Dhabi this weekend with a 19 point advantage over Mercedes after dropping 21 points to their rivals last weekend in Brazil after George Russell and Lewis Hamilton secured their first victory and one-two of the season. Sainz says he is confident that Ferrari can have a good result against Mercedes this weekend.

“I think in Austin I could have fought for the win and, Brazil, Merc had the edge, but with a clean weekend, starting P2 and all that, I think we could have fought for the win,” Sainz explained. “So we’re focussed on repeating that.

“It’s not going to be an easy thing for them. We just need to focus on getting the two cars up there in the podium places and then nothing will happen. But if they dominate the weekend, they do a one-two, then there is where it starts getting complicated, because it means we need to finish third and fourth. So it depends also on their competitiveness. But I believe that we can also finish the year on a high.”

Ricciardo accepts Abu Dhabi ‘could be last grand prix’

Daniel Ricciardo admits that this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could turn out to be his final race of his Formula 1 career.

The McLaren driver will leave the team after this weekend after the team terminated his contract a year early due to consistently disappointing results. Ricciardo does not have a seat on the grid for next season, with all driver line ups for the ten teams all but officially confirmed.

“Mentally, I’m not treating it like it’s going to be my last ever race – but it could be,” Ricciardo admitted. “Like, I know that nothing’s guaranteed in the future. So I’m just kind of going out to enjoy it.

“I’m not going to get too emotional about the thought of ‘oh is it the last one or not’. But I do want to enjoy it and just take it for what it is. I’ve got a grid penalty. I normally go better when I have penalties – I actually asked for a five place penalty, but three will do.”

Correa surprised to have F2 return so soon

Juan Manuel Correa says that despite working hard for an opportunity to return to Formula 2 racing after he was injured in a serious accident three years ago, he did not expect the chance to come so soon.

Correa will compete in his first F2 race this weekend in Abu Dhabu since the 2019 Spa feature race where he suffered serious leg injuries from a horrific accident in which fellow driver Anthoine Hubert lost his life. He will race for Van Amersfoort Racing and said it was something he had been working hard to achieve since recovering from his injuries.

“I’m not surprised because it’s what I’ve been working for the last three years,” Correa said. “I’m delighted to be here.

“I’m surprised to be back here this year, because obviously it’s the end of the season and this opportunity came last moment. So just happy to be here. I do see my future in F2, on longer-term, for next year. It’s no secret that I’ve been working hard to get a seat for next year. And for me to be here this weekend is definitely a big step in the right direction for that goal.”

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Comment of the day

Should drivers who cause red flags in qualifying have their best times deleted to avoid drivers deliberately gaming the system for an advantage? Many appear to think so, but @brightlampshade points out some potential problems…

We’ve had red flags for drivers running over kerbs and them coming loose, same for manholes.

A driver spinning and then a second has a bigger accident trying to avoid the first.

Extreme examples yes but they’ve happened from time to time.

I fully agree with the intent of the idea, but in reality it’s not a cut and dry thing. Especially as it’s down to human decisions/errors on whether to throw a red/yellow flag.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Matthew H and Ionut93!

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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15 comments on “Ferrari need double podium to ward off Mercedes for second – Sainz”

  1. This is a testament to how many points Sainz’s and Leclerc’s many crashes in the first half of the season and then the pit wall mistakes threw away in the second half. Mercedes should not be leading. However, rather than firing Binotto, they should be firing Iñaki Rueda and bringing a new track operations manager to allow Binotto to focus on the technical side.

    1. They need to axe some heads. People criticize Ferrari for firing people even though they seem to keep some people for decades.

    2. Binotto has been stubborn to admit the pitwall disasters and implement changes with regard to the processes, let alone replacing people. At this point an entire restructure of the racing department is needed. Binotto refused to focus solely on the technical side already in 2018 by making it clear that it will be either him or Arrivabene.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        18th November 2022, 9:13

        Binotto though doesn’t owe the media a running commentary on the people he intends to hire and fire.

        He can quietly during the winter break change his team for next season and not make anyone a scapegoat figure.

        1. @andyfromsandy
          I’m against scapegoating people to begin with because it doesn’t address the issue, it only deflects from it. Ferrari racing team is dysfunctional to say the least. Total confusion and the communication between the drivers and the engineers is a disaster since they always tend to disclose their race strategy live on air.

          Something has to be done and the processes need to be reviewed. If when investigating the process it is found that someone isn’t doing his job and is not willing to change his approach and improve then he must be replaced. Binotto has been in denial mode for a while and it was clear at least for me the casual fan that the racing team is dysfunctional to say the least.

          Ferrari have been in self sabotage mode with regard their racing operations since Binotto took in charge. I’ve written countless comments here at RaceFans about that. Though they were not in the spot light due to their championship position and the intense rivalry between RBR and Mercedes.

          Elkann has already told Binotto publicly in Monza that the team needs to improve their racing operations and in Monza it was clear something was done with regard to the pitstops that improved a lot. Looking at what happened in Brazil, there is nothing in my mind that suggests that Ferrari have done something with regard to the strategy and the communication with the pitwall.

          You don’t have to wait for an entire season to fix something as serious as the racing operations that can compromise an entire season in which Ferrari did have the upper hand pace wise till Spa.

    3. someone or something
      18th November 2022, 8:58

      Mercedes should not be leading.

      They aren’t.

  2. And curiously, Leclerc has fallen off the pace somewhat in the last third of season.

    Needs to be more consistent (aka an Alonso) in the top 3 to have any chance next year – especially if it’s a 3-way fight with Merc closing in and RB losing WT time.

    But rooting for Merc next year – VER can go s*ck himself after what he did to Perez.

  3. They can but hope & pray!
    Given Ferrari’s proclivity for self harm this season.
    I won’t be holding my breath for them!

    1. So nothing has changed then. Usual pain if been a Ferrari supporter.

  4. Re CoTD – That’s why it shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule. Each incident can be adjudicated on just like every other incident during a racing weekend. If marshalls throw a hasty, unnecessary red flag while the driver in question is able to continue then ofc there is no reason to penalise that driver. If a driver is caught up in a secondary accident due to another incident, then no need to penalise him and stewards can look at the original incident to see if that warrants a penalty. And there can be different levels of penalty applied depending on the nature of the incident and the interruption it caused to the session.

    I don’t think these factors make the whole proposal a non-starter.

  5. Nice to see all the drivers having dinner together for Seb’s last race. It might be easy to see them as names, sector times, points, winners, records etc.

    But in amongst all that there is presumably some very long lasting friendships, some will have known each other since they were 8 years old. Others (Alonso) were driving F1 cars before Yuki was born. *I would love to see what Yuki and Fernando talk about whilst having dinner together, one wants the ‘triple crown’ the other to open a restaurant.

    I’ve enjoyed Seb’s career and how he’s grown. It might make me feel old, but watching him go from that tenacious curly haired kid, to a socially conscious dad has been a pleasure (though I did want to cut off his index finger at times).

    I wish him all the best with whatever he does next.

  6. Why would anyone voluntarily ask for a bigger grid penalty for himself?

    COTD: I’ve made my points about this pointless topic whenever people bring it up again.
    However, I agree that unintended consequences would arise.

  7. Mark in Florida
    18th November 2022, 13:34

    There’s no way that Binotto can stay on after this disaster of a season. He might be a sharp engineer, but as a team principal he’s terrible. He is in way over his head at this point. I’ve said it before, Binotto has no feel for the flow of the race and what the next call has to be to stay ahead. If the race goes off script and it’s not ABC, 123 the strategy group gets totally lost. I don’t ever remember John Todt or Ross Brawn acting lost or unsure. They made the right call just about every time under pressure. They seemed to know what to do and when to do it. If on the rare occasion they did mess up they admitted it and moved on and improved. Now it’s expected that Ferrari is going to mess up, everyone is waiting to see what the latest mistake is going to be. That’s how bad things have got with Binotto in charge. When abject failure is the expectation, it’s time to go!

  8. I mentioned before, but I feel like 3rd place in the championship for a team that doesn’t need money, is a better position to be than 2nd, because of the extra wind tunnel time.

    1. I agree with it and imo Ferrari Will win more with wind tunnel time

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