F1 | Carlos Sainz: ‘Verstappen made mistakes and still won’

F1 | Carlos Sainz: ‘Verstappen made mistakes and still won’

Monza will be like Spa, with a bunch of drivers sanctioned for changing engines. Among them, Hamilton is already confirmed, but there will be others (some repeat and there will be surprises). One of them will be Carlos Sainz, that this way he will be able to have the hybrid improvements of Ferrari and arrive short of mileage at the final stage of the World Cup. The Madrid native’s season is complex: in the first races, he lacked confidence; but since taking full control of the F1-75, reliability, strategy, pit stops or just the car’s competitiveness have failed. He is fifth in the World Cup and the goal now is to increase the number of victories.

Even if for the moment, this weekend, it is time to put on the return costume (in France, he returned from 19th to 5th place). “If we decide to change the engine, I hope many people will change it, like at Spa, and that allows you to start 15th or 16th, like Max and Charles at Spa. We’ll see if that’s the case,” said an enigmatic Sainz. In any case, it is a fact that he will release a unit of power. This time it’s up to Leclerc to aspire to pole position and fight for a win he already claimed in 2019.

Here, Verstappen and Checo scare you because this year Red Bull counts the visits of the two quintessential low downforce grands prix, Azerbaijan and Belgium, by doubles. The question is how well will Ferrari perform after three rather poor races? “After a few days of analysis we have a lot of data. In the race we were not as strong as we would have liked. If it comes because the tires overheat, because the rivals are better due to their evolutions, or because we have not optimized the “set-up”, it is something that we will study to try to improve”, details Sainz, who in Zandvoort “suffered damage from contact with Lewis and it affected the pace, although the overall issue is bigger than that.

“Red Bull has been very reliable”

Part of the general problem is perhaps the superiority of Verstappen (109 points ahead of Pérez and Leclerc), winner of ten races in 2022. Sainz tells AS how he sees the ‘Supermax’ season: “He is having a very good season. He made very few mistakes and when he did, like in Spain, where he went to the same place as me, or in Hungary, he recovered and won anyway. That’s the biggest difference, even on the days he struggled, he was able to win. Red Bull has been very reliable from the first races and Max’s season has been incredible, he is doing a particularly good job. So he deserves it.”

Ferrari celebrates the 75-year history of the manufacturer at home with touches of ‘modena yellow’ of origin on the bodywork of the single-seater (entirely dyed the clothes and combinations of the two pilots). The color yellow is said to bring bad luck on stage, but there is no room for superstition at Maranello, at this stage of the course everyone tends to be where they deserve. The drivers’ and constructors’ titles will go to Verstappen and Red Bull, but a victory for Ferrari on Italian soil would excuse all previous mistakes, it would be the best lifeline. And of this, in the garage, they are all very aware.

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