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Carlos Sainz

Sainz: Ferrari Imola upgrade numbers 'out of proportion'

Carlos Sainz has quashed pre-conceived expectations of the Ferrari upgrade for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, saying they were "completely out of reality".

Sainz Imola
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has dismissed pre-Imola predictions for the Ferrari upgrade package as "completely out of reality".

The 29-year-old emphasised that it was always going to be a challenge to take the sort of step rumoured for the Scuderia with its rivals also bringing updates.

Friday saw the Italian marque top both practice sessions through Sainz's team-mate Charles Leclerc, but a disrupted FP3 prevented some teams from showcasing their true one-lap pace, including Ferrari. 

With expectations high, setting the fourth and fifth fastest times seemed a disappointment post-qualifying. Sainz, however, believes the unrealistic expectations have affected perceptions of what Ferrari might achieve, given that others have also brought improvements to Imola.

"It's worked exactly as we expected," he told media including RacingNews365 after the session. "Unfortunately, for some reason, everyone expected us to be fine this weekend with a new package. [I've] been seeing numbers of our package going around that were completely out of reality nowadays.

"Already to bring a tenth [of a second] is a good job by the team, and I'm not saying we've got one, two or half a tenth, but not the numbers people were mentioning. With that in mind, it was always going to be difficult to take a jump this weekend because people are also upgrading their cars here."

When pressed on which numbers were out of reality, and if he could provide more accurate information, the three-time grand prix winner refused to be drawn. He said: "I'm not allowed. That's why I cannot say, but just by telling you that the numbers were out of proportion, I'm telling you enough."

Imola favouring McLaren and Red Bull

A penalty for Oscar Piastri for impeding Kevin Magnussen in Q1 will see Sainz line up for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in fourth, with Leclerc ahead in third.

The Spaniard, however, said he knew the Imola track would be tricky for the team, as it is more tailored to McLaren and Red Bull - something he assessed ahead of the event. Despite that, Sainz was keen to underline there has been an improvement from the previous round.

"Still the car is better than what it was in Miami," he said. "We measure more downforce, everything is working well."

"It's just not enough yet, for a circuit which is not favouring our car. When I saw the track, I did it in the simulator, I always saw Imola being a McLaren track and potentially also hugely a Red Bull track."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look ahead at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The trio discuss last season's cancelled race at Imola, whether McLaren's Miami pace is genuine and if Mercedes teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his debut before he turns 18.

Want to watch the podcast instead of just listening? Check it out here.

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