Charles Leclerc had to drop out of the season’s first race early on when his Ferrari lost energy and complexity during the opening event of the F1 season. He had received new engine parts prior to the start of the Bahrain GP. Before the upcoming Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the Ferrari team is hopeful that Carlos Sainz can rise to the occasion and challenge the Red Bull cars. The new and improved aero changes to the SF-23 car are geared towards increasing the car’s straight-line efficiency. As Sainz hopes to keep up with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, the team expressed concerns about the vehicle’s ability to last the distance of the race.
Sainz also discussed the unfortunate battery and ECU malfunction with reporters, which earned him a 10-place grid penalty in Jeddah. Although he suggested that it was a setback, Ferrari has identified the issue and is hopeful that it can be fixed. The team is also optimistic about their chances to compete at Jeddah. Sainz stated that “the track is completely different to Bahrain,” and added that everything, from the asphalt to the high-speed nature and wing level will have an impact on their performance. Despite their optimism, acknowledging the strength and speed of Red Bull, Sainz admitted that it would be tough to beat them this weekend.
After Ferrari‘s disappointing Bahrain result, Sainz suggested that they can learn from Red Bull‘s comeback last year after a double DNF in the season opener. “If something taught us [from the] 2022 [season], it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” he remarked. Sainz’s voice was affected by a cold, but he remained optimistic, stating that the team will continue to work on improving the vehicle, especially the developments that can improve its performance.