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Sainz: Ferrari will need 'perfect year' to beat Red Bull

Carlos Sainz admits that it has been a challenging season for the team and believes they will need to be perfect to beat Red Bull in 2023.

Carlos Sainz expects Ferrari will need to produce a "perfect year" to beat Red Bull in 2023. Ferrari has come under criticism throughout this season for its mistakes on strategy and poor reliability. Despite a strong start to the season, Red Bull and Max Verstappen emerged from the second half as a dominant force. This all culminated at the last race in Mexico, where Verstappen won his 14th race and broke the record for most wins in a season. "The way that he [Verstappen] has performed in combination with Red Bull, it's they've been just the faster package, the quicker car, the quicker driver," Sainz told media, including RacingNews365.com . "I do feel like with a perfect year it should be possible [to beat Red Bull], but we will need to be perfect next year."

Sainz to focus on consistency for 2023

Sainz added that he struggled with the F1-75 in the first half of the season which caused inconsistency, leading to his poor performances and long wait before his first win with the team. "It was a challenging first third of the season where I struggled a bit with the car balance, the driving style, in a car that for some reason didn't suit me straight out of the box and I had to fight through it quite a lot," he explained. "The second two-thirds I have been a lot happier with the car, but unfortunately [we've had] a lot of DNFs, a lot of reliability issues." With both Red Bull and Mercedes having more competitive second parts of 2022, Sainz is still happy with the progress Ferrari has made. He added: "Even though I'm up to speed with the car and I had a solid weekend, for example in Mexico, the maximum I could get was a P5. "I've learned a lot but I'm proud with the progress I've done inside the car with my engineers, the way that we managed to turn my pace around. "We'll make sure next year that we are back to being the consistent Carlos of 2021 and get good results."

RESULTS 2024 F1 pre-season testing - Day 2