Carlos Sainz reveals where Ferrari stand in McLaren championship battle

Ferrari are just 79 points ahead of fifth-placed McLaren with five races left of the 2023 season, as Aston Martin continue to struggle.


Carlos Sainz believes Ferrari can fend off the challenge from McLaren to retain third place in the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Championship despite the British team’s surging performance.

McLaren were nowhere in the first half of the season as the team struggled to find balance in their car, but since the summer they have appeared revitalised with a host of upgrades and have began to tussle with Mercedes and Ferrari in the chasing pack behind Red Bull.

In a host of races, including most recently the Qatar GP, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have occupied the other two podium spots behind champion Max Verstappen, but Sainz said that he thinks the Scuderia have enough to keep their rivals at bay.

“I think if we don’t have any other DNFs, I think we should be able to keep them behind,” Sainz told media ahead of the US GP in Austin.

“Doesn’t mean that they’re not going to beat us – I think they’re gonna beat us in most of the races from here to the end of the season if all things aligned because they do have a very quick car nowadays and they look to be the only ones that can sometimes the Red Bull, where at a track like Singapore where maybe it’s more us.”

“But I don’t know. I was playing golf yesterday with Lando. We were discussing whether they will be ahead this weekend. We will be ahead. Maybe quali, maybe race but basically we don’t know. But so let’s see tomorrow.”

Heating issues solved

Sainz was unable to start the race last time out in Qatar after his Ferrari suffered an issue with the heating system, a problem which he said shouldn’t rear its head again under the demanding conditions of Texas.

“We’ve changed a lot of parts in the car to try and obviously correct the issue that affected us in Qatar,” he said.

“We are trying also to find solutions in the long term not only in the short term because it’s definitely something that we are not happy and we’ve also had issues in the past so yeah, bit of a headache…but yeah, we will try and put it back together this this weekend and hopefully shouldn’t be any issues anytime soon.”

The Spaniard added that he had taken some time in between the races to mentally reset after being denied the chance to add to his strong run of from since the summer break.

“I’ve been also trying to recover from Qatar, but not so much physically because I didn’t race, but mentally from not being able to take part in that race which on hand side actually…probably Qatar looking back looked like a good one to maybe skip,” Sainz said.

Matt Neill
Matt Neill
With years of experience in the motorsports field and Matt Neill founded to give clarity and more depth to the digital F1 landscape.
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