Spanish race car driver Carlos Sainz secured his second successive 2023 pole position in Singapore. This achievement, however, did not alleviate the Ferrari team’s challenges in duplicating their one-lap pace in the actual race. Sainz exploited Red Bull‘s less than stellar performance that weekend and put an end to their winning streak.
Securing the very first non-Red Bull victory of the season was a morale boost for Ferrari. However, Sainz has cautioned that the issues the SF-23 continues to exhibit have not been resolved, displaying random handling traits ahead of a clean-slate design anticipated in 2024.
When asked by F1 Initiative if Ferrari had rectified its unpredictability, Sainz responded by saying, “No, honestly there is nothing fundamental that has changed on the car since the beginning of the season.” He further noted, “The car is still obviously not great in some areas, very good in others and there’s certain tracks like Monza and Singapore that the car has adapted to very well, while there are other tracks like Zandvoort, Silverstone where it was very difficult to drive.”
The Spaniard pointed out the ongoing challenges with the car, stating that they continue to search for the optimum setup. “It’s still a tricky car and we’re still trying to find the right set-up,” he said. Finding the suitable configuration remains elusive; however, he reaffirmed their commitment to seek it.
Emphasizing his efforts, Sainz shared, “That’s why every weekend I try something different in the car and it seems to be working, we seem to keep finding little ways to find a better pace. And with this, I don’t mean more predictable, just find speed and lap time.” Despite their triumph in Singapore, he acknowledged the car’s continuing weaknesses, particularly in tire wear and degradation.
Sainz, grappling with Ferrari‘s unpredictability, has since stopped forecasting where the team may repeat its Singapore feat. “I’m not sure. Looking at track characteristics, none of the tracks that are coming are anywhere close to Singapore or Monza, which are probably the two extremes,” he voiced.
He further expressed the impossibility of determining which tracks will suit them, maintaining that the pattern of speedy qualifying but racing struggles will persist.
In response to whether Singapore provided a template for an impeccable Ferrari race weekend, Sainz asserted, “Yes, and I think we also need to give credit to the team.” Although Sainz successfully managed his DRS and pace, he commended the team for their flawless delivery.
He echoed the sentiment by stating, “I still believe we didn’t have the fastest race car in Singapore, and we still managed to win, which speaks highly of Ferrari and the race execution that we did.” Sainz closed by expressing their pride in this achievement and highlighted its importance in building momentum and confidence for the next year.