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Carlos Sainz

Sainz makes Ferrari demand after China pace woe

Ferrari was unable to compete with McLaren during the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Sainz China race
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz has conceded that Ferrari had a "lack of pace" compared to McLaren during last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, with the Spaniard insisting they need upgrades for circuits like the Shanghai International Circuit.

Ferrari had been Red Bull's main competitor at every event ahead of the first Chinese GP since 2019, but struggled to generate both one-lap and race pace in Shanghai.

Charles Leclerc and Sainz could only salvage sixth and seventh in qualifying for the main race, before recovering to fourth and fifth.

McLaren's Lando Norris was comfortably quicker than the pair and even split Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez on the podium.

Sainz conceded after the race it had not been a strong weekend for the Maranello-based side, particularly in terms of their pace woes compared to McLaren.

"It just hasn't been a very good weekend for us as a team," said Sainz. "I think we were just not strong enough this weekend, P6 and P7 in quali and clearly also lacking a bit in the race.

"Just a clear lack of pace compared to the McLaren of Norris, and in the end, P4 and P5 given how bad the start went for both cars, and how early I had to pit for the hards to then one-stop from there, P5 actually is a good result given the circumstances."

The Chinese GP was the first event where Ferrari genuinely appeared to struggle this year, having shown potential during the opening four rounds.

The Australian Grand Prix marked Ferrari's strongest outing yet with Sainz emerging victorious at that round.

When asked by RacingNews365 if upgrades are needed to maintain its pace, Sainz said: "For this kind of circuit yes.

“Here, Suzuka, we need something and in terms of maybe circuits like Australia, we're better off.

"There's going to be circuits where the Red Bull is going to be clearly ahead anyway, and then McLaren is going to be stronger.

"There are going to be other circuits like Australia where I think we're gonna be up there, so it's very circuit dependent. But clearly, if we want to be stronger at circuits like China, we need a better platform for this kind of track."

Looking ahead to next weekend's Miami Grand Prix, Sainz expects the venue to be much stronger for Ferrari but not as good as Melbourne's Albert Park Circuit.

"I think so," shared Sainz. "Miami, I have a better feeling than here. Not another Australia, but I think Miami should be a bit better for our car."

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