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Carlos Sainz

Sainz insists Ferrari have 'no clue' where they place in pecking order

There has been much talk surrounding Ferrari's performance in the Barcelona pre-season test, but Carlos Sainz thinks it is impossible to say where each team stands at this stage.

Sainz Barcelona
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Carlos Sainz insists that Ferrari have "no clue" where they might place in the 2022 pecking order, despite impressing many with their performance in pre-season testing.

The team completed more laps than any other during the recent three-day test in Barcelona, and Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets at the end of the second day.

This led to some, including Mercedes' George Russell, suggesting that the Scuderia looked particularly strong, but Sainz thinks it is too early to know what the Italian outfit's prospects are.

"Why do you believe we are in great shape?" Sainz told media including RacingNews365.com.

"This is very early days, and I can't imagine why you guys are starting to take conclusions and maybe try to put a bit of a pecking order [in place]."

"We really don't know where we are"

Sainz says that Ferrari remain unsure about where they stand, but expects things to become clearer when the second pre-season test takes place in Bahrain on 10-12 March.

"For us really, we have no clue [where we are in the pecking order]," the Spaniard said.

"And I think [everyone] has no clue of which fuel loads [or] which engine modes everyone [is] running, so we cannot confirm or deny that we are happy or sad, because we really don't know where we are at all.

"I think [in] Bahrain maybe [it] will start to be a bit easier to start to guess where everyone is."

Driving 2022 cars poses "different challenges"

In terms of what the 2022 F1 cars feel like to drive - given the vast range of new technical regulations that have come into effect - Sainz admits that it is a different experience, but that he is finding the challenge enjoyable.

"It feels different [to drive the car]," the Ferrari driver explained.

"The cars are quite a bit different to last year, and you are faced with different challenges when you drive them. I'm enjoying it quite a lot, to be fair - the whole process of having to feel it, having to put it on the limit and see how the car reacts to different inputs.

"There [are] certainly quite big differences out there but, I don't know, our muscle memory or the muscle memory of the driver just adapts very quickly, and you just know how to drive it in a different way.

"The car just asks you to do some different things and you just do it. That learning process and this challenge is just good fun to go through.

"In that sense, [it has been] an exciting pre-season testing, because it's different to anything else I've done before."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: All you need to know after the first pre-season test

At the end of the first pre-season test of 2022 in Barcelona, Dieter Rencken and Thomas Maher discuss the on- and off-track developments so far.

F1 2022 Barcelona pre-season test RN365 News dossier

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