Carlos Sainz remains confident that he can be the one to end Ferrari’s victory drought this year, predicting that Max Verstappen and Red Bull won’t win every remaining round.
Ferrari began the current regulation cycle with the fastest car in the field, but the Scuderia has slumped to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship this term.
Meanwhile, Red Bull has extended its competitive advantage with an evolution of last year’s title-winning car to win all 13 races to be held so far in 2023, prompting repeated talk that the Austrian outfit could become the first side in Formula 1 history to claim victory in every single race in a year.
However, Sainz believes that Red Bull and Verstappen, who scored a record-equalling ninth consecutive win on Sunday, will slip up at some stage, and insists that his motivation emanates from wanting to be the one to benefit if that moment arrives.
“I don’t fully believe Max is going to win every weekend,” Sainz said on Thursday ahead of last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix. “I know you guys see it in a very drastic, dramatic way.
“Obviously, I know what my chances or my probabilities are, but there’s still a probability that Ferrari can win a race this season and that I can be there to win it. And I think no one’s perfect. Hopefully, at some point during the season, Red Bull makes a mistake and I go into every weekend thinking I need to be there to grab it. That’s my mentality.
“That’s my focus, trying to be there for any given opportunity. Because even in the most dominant years of Mercedes, of Red Bull, of Ferrari, there was always one race know that you could make a difference, or something could happen.
“And as a driver you live, especially in these kind of years, you live a bit on that motivation or on that thinking. And if not, I have plenty of motivation to fight for podiums, to fight for top fives.
“I love Formula 1. I love going to race every weekend with Ferrari and I love having the opportunity to also develop this year’s car, give the feedback and see the impact I can have on next year’s car. This is also what a driver lives for and I love that challenge. I think that summarises everything.”
Red Bull’s current dominance resulted in Sainz’s Ferrari team-mate, Charles Leclerc, assessing that the reigning World Champions might be uncatchable before the next regulation change in 2026.
But Sainz asserts it would be wrong for the FIA to intervene and attempt to slow Red Bull down before then, adding that his former employers “deserve” to enjoy its success.
When asked if something must be done to make F1 more competitive, the Spaniard said: “Second part, I always try to put myself in the position of others when doing this or analysing these questions. And I say if my team had done what Red Bull has done, and I am doing the job that Max is doing, I wouldn’t like Formula 1 to change anything, because I think we deserve to be in the position they’re in and they’ve simply done an incredible job with this year’s car.
“Max is driving at a very high level. He obviously also has a bit of margin to do a mistake here and there and still win the race. But he’s not doing any big mistakes.
“Red Bull is not doing any mistakes and unless proven the opposite they deserve to have the success they’re having, because equal opportunity for everyone and they are beating us and they are dominating F1 in a fair and square way.
“So nothing to say,” he added. “Congratulations and keep enjoying. We will try to do to get better as soon as possible.”
Sainz has yet to score a podium this season, with Leclerc achieving all three of Ferrari’s top-three finishes.