Carlos Sainz has revealed that Ferrari did not opt for an ultra-low downforce Formula 1 set-up in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, preferring one similar to Bahrain.
The Scuderia's tricky start to the 2023 season continued in Jeddah, with sixth and seventh place all the team could claim on a track that the SF-23 was expected to go well on, owing to its low drag and high top-speed nature.
However, Red Bull proved dominant, with Ferrari relegated to fourth best on race day as both the Aston Martin and Mercedes enjoyed better pace than Sainz or Charles Leclerc.
The former has admitted that the Italian team opted for similar downforce levels to Sakhir in Saudi Arabia, two tracks with vastly different demands and characteristics.
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Sainz on Ferrari set-up
"We didn't run as low drag as in Bahrain," he told media including RacingNews365.
"Actually we ran a very similar rear wing to in Bahrain, and this is why we maybe weren't as fast on the straights as in Bahrain, where we maybe had lower downforce than the others.
"Here, we were equal.
"It is not our limitation, the drag or the power, it is not that. It is race pace, it is [tyre] degradation, some sensitivities that the car has in cornering that we know are not the right ones.
"But we know and will develop them."
Sainz rejects Alpine threat
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon, who finished in eighth place behind the two Ferraris, spoke post-race of the team considering challenging for position after the Safety Car restart, although nothing came of it.
When asked if he feared Alpine going forward, Sainz was swift in dismissing the threat.
"I trust my team, I trust the development plan, I trust the conclusions that we're taking, I trust Ferrari, Ferrari is Ferrari," he explained.
"We will develop, it is just we've had a rough start to the season, this confirms it, but the alarms don't need to come up.
"It's just we didn't do a very good job.
"I haven't had the strongest first two races either, but I dropped the points, and now it's time to do a step up."
Join RacingNews365.com journalists Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken, with new host Balve Baines, as they discuss the key talking points from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.