Carlos Sainz has admitted Ferrari expected to be closer to Red Bull and the reality leaves the team feeling frustrated ahead of the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix.
After a return to winning ways for the Italian team in 2022, many anticipated this would continue into 2023 Formula 1 season. Ferrari even reported finding a second of pace over the winter break, however this did not materialise in Bahrain or the season so far.
“It was frustrating when we realised that Red Bull was a big step ahead of us and that it was going to be difficult to challenge them,” Sainz told the media.
“We all expected the car to be more competitive, but that we ourselves could also be competitive and now everything is tight.”
Ferrari trail Mercedes and Aston Martin by 56 points and five points respectively as the F1 season resumes at Zandvoort. Conversely, in 2022, they led Mercedes by 34 points and Aston Martin by 295 points.
Sainz wants Ferrari to focus on improving how to extract everything from their package and to ensure that they leave 2023 feeling like nothing was left on the table.
“If one weekend we are fighting to be 5th and that is the maximum we can do, we should celebrate the fact that we have done the maximum with what we have this year,” Sainz added.
“We should maximise our constructor points, stop expecting a win or a podium, and just focus on nailing the principles and being consistent.”
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort on August 25-27, where championship leader Max Verstappen will be racing on home soil.