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Sainz: Ferrari weaknesses 'came alive' in Barcelona

Carlos Sainz was left frustrated with a fifth place result at his home race after starting the Spanish Grand Prix on the front row of the grid.

Carlos Sainz believes that any development gains made by Ferrari are likely hidden by the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya being one of their "weakest" tracks of the Formula 1 season. In a bid to close the gap to runaway championship leaders Red Bull, Ferrari brought bodywork updates to the Spanish Grand Prix, including a revised sidepod profile which is more in line with the Red Bull RB19 design. Whilst Charles Leclerc struggled in the other Ferrari, Sainz qualified on the front row for his home event, behind eventual race winner Max Verstappen. Sainz challenged for the lead at the opening corner of the race, but soon turned his attentions to trying to fend off the threat from Mercedes behind. Eventually both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell got by, followed by the recovering Red Bull of Sergio Perez, as Sainz was powerless to stay in podium contention.

Speaking after the race, Sainz believed that his fall in the running order only highlighted the strength of his qualifying lap, with the Ferrari driver admitting that he expected to struggle at the Barcelona circuit. "Honestly I just spent the whole race managing tyres, because we know we are very hard on them, and with this high-deg circuit I just couldn't push," Sainz told media, including RacingNews365.com . "We know it's a weakness of our car and coming to a high-deg circuit we were just managing the whole way, trying to make it to the target laps of the stints and still falling short in a few of them. "The weaknesses of our car were coming alive on a circuit like this, with high-speed corners and how hard we are on tyres. "It also shows that qualifying must have been a pretty good lap. I think in the race we were back to where the car is at the moment on race pace."

Sainz: Our weakest track of the season

When asked if the upgrades had brought a noticeable improvement to race performance, Sainz responded: "It's difficult to tell. "I know the factory made a tremendous effort to bring them, and we probably brought them to our weakest track of the season, because of the characteristics of the track, so we probably haven't seen the best of them yet. "I still believe with the bouncing and the high-speed weakness that we have, we were never going to be very competitive around here, so it's too early to tell, but I think they made a tremendous effort to bring it."

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