Carlos Sainz says Ferrari was unable to get an accurate read on the upgrade package it brought last time out due to the Barcelona circuit not suiting the team’s package.
Following a torrid start to the season, Ferrari introduced a raft of upgrades at the Spanish Grand Prix, including the addition of a more conventional sidepod concept.
While Sainz was able to wound up second on the grid for his home race, the Spaniard dropped back three places to fifth on Sunday, continuing Ferrari’s race day struggles.
However, Sainz asserts the upgrades marked an important step in the Italian side understanding its troublesome SF-23 car and argues the nature of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya track meant it was always going to be a tough weekend.
“I feel we did important steps in the understandings and learning of the car, which we’re going to try and put together here, and if not we’ll keep trying, keep working, and I see a factory full of energy to correct the situation, and the feeling, and yeah Barcelona was probably the worst possible track to bring the package to as it was always going to be our most difficult race of the year so far,” he said.
“So it was a bit shocking maybe for everyone and us too, but if you have new parts you need to bring them and try them and hopefully they’ll work better here.”
With Ferrari languishing a lowly fourth in the Constructors’ standings and winless across the opening seven rounds in 2023, Sainz reveals he is spending more time than ever at the side’s Maranello base.
“It was a new opening in our window of development, and if this window doesn’t work we’ll open another one and another one and we’ll keep trying,” he explained.
“I’m going to Maranello more often than ever, spending more time there between races than ever, keeping the team pushing in the right direction and motivation.
“I see good things coming and good spirits, it’s just at the race track the results are still not coming.”
Although Sainz was able to hold his starting place of second in the early stages of the Spain race, the Ferrari driver was shuttled down the order once he encountered problems with tyre degradation.
However, aside from solving its tyre woes, the one-time race winner contends that Ferrari also needs to ensure it provides the drivers with a more consistent and predictable car over longer stints in order to improve its race day performances.
“I think we keep talking a lot about tyres and degradation but there’s also a bit more of a fundamental problem with the race pace rather than just deg,” he argued.
“The analysis is we just lack race pace at the moment, and we need to make a car that is kinder on tyres, but also more consistent with the aero and allows us to stay a bit more on the limit of the car during the whole race and at the moment it feels like we’re having to back off a bit.
“We’re doing the best, every weekend we’re trying different things, we have new ideas, new bits on the car, every weekend we try something with tyres, if it’s not with tyres it’s with suspension, aero, we cannot fault the fact we are trying everything and I’m sure we’ll get to the bottom of it.”