Sainz: Tyre degradation isn’t Ferrari’s biggest problem

Ferrari sit fourth in the 2023 Formula 1 constructors' championship after struggles for Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc

-

Carlos Sainz admitted Ferrari‘s tyre degradation problems are masking a bigger problem with the SF-23, after he dropped from the front row to fifth in the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix.

After the chequered flag in Barcelona, Sainz said he’d spent the whole race managing his tyres, but ahead of the Canadian GP he said Ferrari‘s overall race pace was an even bigger issue.

“We keep talking a lot about tyres and degradation,” Sainz told the media. “But I think there’s more of a fundamental problem with race pace now, rather than just degradation. My analysis, or the team’s analysis, is that we just lack race pace at the moment.

“We need to make a car that’s kinder on tyres, but also more consistent with the aero and it allows us to stay a bit more on the limit of the car during the whole race.”

Ferrari brought significant upgrades to the Spanish GP, moving away from their unique ‘bathtub’ sidepods to a concept that mirrors Red Bull‘s design plus bringing a new floor.

However, Sainz said after the race that Ferrari were still in the dark about the effectiveness, and was surprised at the pace of Mercedes.

“And at the moment it feels like we’re having to back off a bit,” Sainz added ahead of the Canadian GP. “We’re doing our best, every weekend we’re trying different things, we have new ideas, we have new bits on the car.

“Every weekend we try something with tyres or suspension so we cannot fault the fact that we’re trying everything and I’m sure we will get to the bottom of it.”

Sainz: Ferrari’s current problems began in 2022

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc embrace the Texan culture at the 2022 US Grand Prix | Ferrari F1 team

Ferrari‘s 2023 struggles are in stark contrast to their 2022 season, when they made a winning return to the front of the F1 grid.

Sainz won the first race of his F1 career and Ferrari led the constructors’ championship by 39 points after the third race of the season, sat on nearly double Red Bull’s points total.

However, they only won two more races for the rest of the season as Red Bull pulled clear, and Sainz said the problems dogging them now had already raised their head by the end of 2022.

“We’re all frustrated, but also motivated to change,” Sainz said. “It’s something we started seeing towards the end of last year, when we were still sticking it on pole in Austin, and very close to polling in many circuits at the end of the year.

“But then we saw the race we were clearly behind. And this is a carryover but maybe an acceleration this year with the car that we have now, because at least last year, we could still have pole positions.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton explains why F1 doesn’t need a transfer window

0
Lewis Hamilton has weighed in with his thoughts on whether Formula 1 should adopt a football-style transfer window to...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Forget Ferrari, McLaren are the biggest threat to Red Bull

0
The very fact that Lando Norris was disappointed and frustrated with finishing second at the Formula 1 2024 Canadian...
Sergio Perez looks on at the 2024 Canadian GP | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Horner calls for Perez to bounce back as he heaps praise on Verstappen

0
Team principal Christian Horner for Sergio Perez to get back to from for the 2024 Spanish Grand Prix whilst...

Should F1 adopt a football-style transfer window for drivers? Max Verstappen is the proof...

0
Formula 1 is unlike any other sport, and that's fine - the F1 purists thrive on its unique qualities....

What went wrong for Will Brown, Cam Waters in NASCAR Cup debuts

0
The NASCAR Cup Series had some Australian flavour Sunday when Supercars Championship stars Will Brown and Cameron Waters made...

What we learned from the 2024 Canadian GP

0
Max Verstappen returned to the top step of the podium after a terrible 2024 Monaco Grand Prix with an...
Norman Nato leads the field at the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024-25 calendar announced for first Gen3 Evo season

0
Formula E have announced its provisional calendar for the 2024-25 season, which will be the first campaign for the...
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen aces huge Canadian GP test as Red Bull and Perez falter

0
While Lando Norris was frustrated with his team, George Russell committed a litany of errors and Lewis Hamilton lamented...

F1 risks repeating mistake with new 2026 regulations announcement

0
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali unveiled the sport's much-heralded new era of racing promising "a new generation of car...

F1 Winners and Losers of the 2024 Canadian GP

0
The dust settled on a barnstorming 2024 Canadian Grand Prix weekend with Max Verstappen returning to the top step...
- Advertisment -