Sainz dresses as a leader. On the eve of a delicate Grand Prix for many different reasons, Ferrari relies on Carlos to conquer the first podium of the season, a result with a very important specific weight that goes beyond the points (however important) in the world rankings.
There are some roles that Ferrari must quickly reiterate, starting with that of second force in the field, given that today it is impossible to hope for anything more. In Jeddah we will have to verify the gap against Red Bull, hoping that the gap in Bahrain has been widened by the characteristics of the Sakhir track, the reliability and the crucial development path of the SF-23.
The consequences of Bahrain (10 positions that Leclerc will serve on Sunday’s starting grid) have placed a considerable responsibility on Sainz’ shoulders, and Carlos already responded as a leader in yesterday’s press conference.
“I’m very surprised by how some people at home are trying to destabilize the team – he commented – because some criticisms only came after one race and it’s impossible to judge a team’s performance in such a short time”.
Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari, believes in the red’s potential
Photo by: Motorsport Images
A clear and direct message, without beating about the bush. After the words, however, will come the facts. Sainz was most likely waiting for such an opportunity, and beyond the Bahraini disappointments, for the balance within the team, Carlos knows he has an important opportunity. He will be the man who will have to try to take Ferrari to the first podium of the season, and that podium has become tremendously important. In addition, the bad luck that blocked Leclerc in Sakhir allowed Sainz to start the season with a +12 over his teammate, with the prospect of increasing his tally this weekend. “Personally, I’m calm – added Carlos – we know the weaknesses of the car and where to intervene”.
Hamilton calls for ‘brave’ choices
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG
Photo by: Motorsport Images
More air, and other declarations, come from the box adjacent to the Scuderia. Jeddah will also be an important step for Mercedes, Bahrain confirmed the team as the fourth force in the field, and Hamilton said in no uncertain terms that the Bahrain verdict was a shock for the whole team.
Unlike Ferrari, where there is trust in the project and work is done to understand and improve the SF-23, in Mercedes the certainties regarding the technical choices seem to waver. From the words of Hamilton and Russell it can be deduced that there are incorrect basic choices, and this makes the scenario very difficult considering the time required for a change of course and the limits imposed by the budget cap.
“We have recognized that we have made some bad decisions – commented Russell – and I think we are aware that we are not on the right track with our philosophy”.
“We need courageous choices,” Hamilton reiterated, suggesting that the only way out is to put aside what the technicians have believed in up to now and move on. Paradoxically the victory in Brazil last year played a negative role in the current state of affairs, and Russell himself has admitted it:
“Brazil led us down the wrong path, because we convinced ourselves we had something wrong, but the W14 is a more extreme version of the car we had at the end of last year and we have continued in that direction. But unfortunately it wasn’t the right one.”
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