Ferrari refugee Sainz denies suddenly surging in form

Wed, 17 April 2024, 11:00

Apr.17 (GMM) Carlos Sainz has hit back at the notion that his form as a driver has drastically improved in 2024, just as Ferrari also ended its habit of getting race strategies badly wrong compared to a year ago.

Last year, post-race internet memes constantly poked fun at Ferrari’s often disastrously-botched race strategies.

And Sainz, on the other hand, is now seen by some as having radically improved his pace in the cockpit just as Ferrari decided to oust him for 2025 and he shops around for an alternative.

The Spaniard says both of those perceptions are simply wrong.

“We just simply improved the car,” the 29-year-old insists. “The reality is just in Formula 1, the car is very important.

“Yes, I’m driving at a high level, but at the same time, having a car that just allows you to go a bit longer, allows you to be a bit closer in dirty air and play around a bit more with strategy, just allows you to shine a bit more.

“Last year in the races, we looked like we were always going backwards – always defending. But we were terrible with tyre management. It’s a completely different picture now.

“We’ve improved everywhere,” Sainz added, “but especially in race pace. It allows us to have more strategic flexibility. It allows me to go forward in the races instead of looking in my mirrors all the time.”

However, he does admit that Ferrari has also upped its game in other areas apart from pace and tyre management – including coming up with the right strategies.

“But if you see a jump this year on strategy, it’s purely down to the car,” said Sainz. “Last year, we were boxed in to stop at certain laps. We couldn’t extend because we had so much (tyre) deg. We just couldn’t do anything.”

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