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Carlos Sainz

Sainz: Ferrari can't fix 2023 problems through development

The Scuderia has had an underwhelming season, with Carlos Sainz believing only a fresh start will work.

Sainz Hungary
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz believes Ferrari can only solve the problems it faces with its 2023 car through design changes and not via development upgrades.

In a below-par season for Ferrari, it is in fourth place in the Constructors' on 201 points heading into its home Italian Grand Prix at Monza, 54 points behind second-placed Mercedes.

Attention at Maranello has largely shifted to the 2024 car, with the focus in practice sessions on gathering data for that car as opposed to the 2023 SF-23 machine.

Sainz - who is yet to record a podium finish in 2023 - believes the core problems with the SF-23 make trying to eradicate them virtually impossible without a fresh design for '24.

Sainz happy over 2024 practice focus

"We've done a decent job in terms of development," Sainz told media including RacingNews365.

"If you look at the development race this year, we are up there in terms of cars that have developed the most, and it is clear that the biggest jump has been done by McLaren.

"But apart from them, normally, we've been lacking against Mercedes and Red Bull in development this year and what we haven't managed to do is take away the characteristics that make our car extremely tricky to drive in certain situations.

"It is an intrinsic problem in the car that you can't take away in development and only take away by design.

"It is not a secret that we've been struggling a lot to drive in unpredictable conditions like when it is windy or in long corners where you spend a lot of time in the corner.

"Also, our tyre problems can come from these, so that is why I say we now understand the problem, understand the main issue and now we need to put everything together to produce a better car."

Sainz also believes that Ferrari can fight for second in the standings if the team do a "perfect job."

"I think we fully understand what we want from next year's car, and what characteristics we want it to have," he said.

"It is obviously another thing whether we can fully achieve it or not, and we are fully focused in the simulator, in the wind-tunnel and even in free practices to take the time to keep experimenting with things to make sure that we have everything covered for next year's car.

"Don't get me wrong, there is still a Constructors' Championship to fight with Mercedes and Aston Martin over, and we still believe we can come out on top if we do a perfect job.

"But there is also the fact that we need to use these practice sessions to keep trying things.

"At some circuits it is maybe not worth it, like maybe Monza or Singapore, but then there's obviously some where you can definitely learn a lot."

F1 2023 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Free Practice 3