Carlos Sainz believes a lack of confidence and a switch to the hard tyres prevented him from finishing higher in Sunday’s 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Sainz, who had been struggling to match Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc throughout the weekend in Baku, lost ground to the leaders following his first stop before losing fourth to Fernando Alonso and finishing a distant fifth.
“I think seeing where Fernando finished, he was always going to finish ahead of me today, so nothing new,” said Sainz to the media.
“[During] the first stint on the mediums, it looked like I found a bit of pace.
“As soon as I put the hards on again, my struggles from the weekend appeared again. [I] just had to bring home a P5.
“[I] always [felt] on the limit of crashing or feeling like I was losing the car, so a long race and mentally stressful after the struggles of the weekend.
“I am sure we’ll find out what happened this weekend, and in Miami, we’ll be back on form.”
Rushed format gives little time for analysis
With the revised Sprint race format, teams and drivers have had little time to tweak their cars, with Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg being handed pitlane starts for overnight set-up changes.
However, Ferrari could be satisfied with their progress since Melbourne as Leclerc secured his first trip to the rostrum of 2023, finishing a distant third behind race winner Sergio Perez.
“We haven’t had time to sit down and analyse we’ve had to very quickly go into the next session”, said Sainz. “We haven’t dug deep to find out what happened this weekend.
“I am sure, together with my engineers, we’ll find out and be back in Miami, it’s just [been] a frustrating weekend in Baku.
“In a way, I find it positive that the next race is coming quickly because I can get this one behind me very quickly. We’ve turned it around in the past, and I expect we will do the same.”