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Carlos Sainz

Sainz tells Ferrari where it must improve to be in Spanish fight

Carlos Sainz looked quick in Spanish Grand Prix practice but has eyed Ferrari improvement.

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Carlos Sainz has pinpointed Ferrari's long-run pace as an area for improvement following a "challenging" practice day at the Spanish Grand Prix. 

In the two 60-minute sessions, Sainz finished third and second, just being pipped to the fastest time in FP2 by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton by 0.022s. 

Armed with fresh SF-24 upgrades, Sainz evaluated the day as a mixed one, feeling the car excelled over one lap, but requires improvement on longer runs. 

A nine lap run on the soft tyres worked out to an average of 1:20.279, nearly a full second behind Max Verstappen's Red Bull, and albeit this was only a three-lap run for the Dutchman, he was still on average 0.8s per lap faster than Sainz in their respective first three laps.

"It was a challenging Friday for everyone, because the track was really slippery, it was very difficult to put together laps with the wind and the high track temperature," Sainz explained.

"It was honestly a challenge all the way through, but it looks like over one lap, we are reasonably okay, but over a long run, we seem to struggle a bit more, like we did last year here.

"We need to see if we can put together a better package, especially for Sunday, but I think over one lap, we're fine."

Ferrari has brought a minor package to Barcelona, including a new engine cover, floor and diffuser, with Sainz encouraged by the feel of the new parts.

"We definitely had a look at them, and it seemed to be working all fine," he said of the upgrades.

"Obviously it is tight margins out there, so it is a small package that is working well and could make the difference. 

"But we are happy with how everything delivered."

Also interesting:

Join Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast, looking ahead to this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix. 

The trio discuss how significant this weekend is in the title fight, whether Red Bull's advantage will return and if Andrea Kimi Antonelli will now make his F1 debut at just 17 years old. Much, much more is also discussed! 

Rather watch then listen to our podcast? Click here.

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