Sainz pessimistic of Ferrari victory chances at Azerbaijan GP

The Spaniard doesn't see big gains being made by Ferrari in Baku

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Carlos Sainz is not confident of a huge upturn in performance for Ferrari at the 2023 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Scuderia were fairly quick in race trim in Australia but a lap one exit for Charles Leclerc and an untimely five-second penalty for Sainz saw them leave the outback empty-handed.

A lot of teams have brought significant upgrades to this race having had a three-week break but Ferrari have not. As a result, Sainz does not see them getting noticeably closer to runaway leaders Red Bull in Azerbaijan.

“We do know our car much better now, especially after these three weeks,” Sainz told the media ahead of the Azerbaijan GP. “We’ve managed to do some good analysis and shape directions for our future development programme.

“That was target number one for this break, to really identify the weaknesses that we have and try as hard as we can to get to fighting Red Bull again as quickly as possible.

“Our chances this weekend should be the same as in Australia.”

Good things ahead

Ferrari are set to lose sporting director Laurent Mekies to AlphaTauri for the 2024 F1 season but Sainz believes the plan being put in place should mean his loss isn’t felt at Maranello.

“Personally, because I can only take from my own personal experience, I think he is a great guy,” Sainz added. “Very strong, eager. He’s taking a step up in his career so I can only be happy for him.

“I think when you’re offered such an important role you have to take it. We are not only losing Laurent but we are doing our best to restructure the team to make it stronger and I’m sure there are going to be people coming to compensate for these few losses we have.

“I’m quite confident with Fred’s approach and the management with the way it’s being handled because I see good things ahead.”

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Motorsport journalist, indyCar correspondent and F1 writer for Total-Motorsport.com
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