Carlos Sainz is very confident that Ferrari will find an extra turn of speed at the 2023 Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and be able to challenge Red Bull.
The prancing horse had looked set to finish third behind the two Red Bull cars in Bahrain but Charles Leclerc’s machine stopped late in the race. Sainz eventually finished fourth but he believes the very different style of circuit in Jeddah could suit their car more than the Bahrain track.
“This track is completely different to Bahrain,” Sainz told the press. “I have a feeling that we are going to be more competitive.
“Given how competitive they [the Red Bulls] were in Bahrain it is going to be difficult, but I want to be more optimistic and feel like we have a good chance to get back on the podium.”
There is no getting around the disappointment of not finishing on the podium at the opening race of the season, but Sainz is well aware that one race this early in the year isn’t the defining factor of the campaign.
The 2022 season saw Red Bull have reliability issues in the opening three rounds only to go on a fantastic winning run. Max Verstappen won the title at a canter as Ferrari imploded and Sainz is keen to remember that and not make the same errors this time around despite the performance deficit seen in Bahrain.
“We got out of it [Bahrain] with the maximum we could have got,” Sainz continued. “It’s only the first race.
“Something told us in 2022, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish so we are going to try and be flat from there and try to improve the car as much as possible.”