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Carlos Sainz

The unwanted Raikkonen record Sainz must not repeat

It has been a mixed-season for Carlos Sainz, with a Kimi Raikkonen 'record' edging closer.

Sainz
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2023 has been something of a disappointment for both Ferrari as hopes of challenging for the Formula 1 World Championship have not come to fruition.

The SF-23 machine, while a step forward from the 2022 car, has not been able to regularly compete with Mercedes and Aston Martin in the fight for second behind runaway leaders Red Bull.

Indeed, the Scuderia only has three podium finishes from the first 12 races and just one pole position on merit, with the other coming at Spa-Francorchamps after Max Verstappen was penalised.

The team is fourth on 191 points in the standings, just five behind Aston Martin and comfortably ahead of McLaren, with Charles Leclerc leading Carlos Sainz by seven points in the standings.

But while Leclerc has had the better of Ferrari's fortunes across the first-half of the season, Sainz has not and is in danger of emulating Kimi Raikkonen's unwanted 2014 record.

Sainz's Raikkonen record

For the first year of the turbo hybrid era, Ferrari re-signed Raikkonen to partner Fernando Alonso after an impressive two-year stint at Lotus.

However, the F14-T was a poor car as Raikkonen badly struggled and was hammered by Alonso in the standings with 161 points to Raikkonen's 55.

Over the course of the season, the 2007 World Champion took a best result of fourth in the Belgian Grand Prix, meaning he failed to score a podium.

Sainz finds himself in a similar situation at the half-way mark of 2023.

His best finish is also fourth in the Bahrain season-opener as he has not been able to kick on, finishing fifth four times as Ferrari is yet to score a podium on a non-Sprint weekend.

The SF-23's race pace is a cause for concern, with Sainz unable to crack the top five in a race since the recovery charge in Canada after a penalised Qualifying for impeding.

With Leclerc having the better of fortunes at Maranello, Sainz must start to deliver strong results for Ferrari in the second-half of the campaign.

The battle for second place in the Constructors' is tight with Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari all in contention with 56 points separting the three.

Interestingly, of the three teams driver line-ups, Leclerc and Sainz are most closely matched in terms of points (99 vs 92 to Leclerc) with Lewis Hamilton leading George Russell by 49 points and Fernando Alonso currently 102 clear of Lance Stroll.

Despite the closeness of the Ferrari pair, their lack of strong top five results is the reason they are fourth in the standings as Hamilton and Alonso's efforts are enough to counteract the performances of Russell and Stroll.

Raikkonen is one of only two full-time drivers to fail to score a podium for Ferrari in the 21st century, with Felipe Massa in 2011 the other.

In 2009, Luca Badoer failed to score any points during his two-race spell replacing the injured Massa while Giancarlo Fisichella also failed to trouble the points as Badoer's replacement.

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