It is a very concrete Sainz who spoke twenty-four hours before the start of the 2022 season. Last year Ferrari was the protagonist of a perfect start to the season, but Carlos remembers well that his feeling with the single-seater had not been the best , an aspect that ended up conditioning his season.
An experience that he doesn’t want to repeat, and the first goal he has set himself is precisely to start 2023 with a performance that is immediately very close to the optimal one. For the rest, Sainz (like everyone) pulls the brakes, entrusts Red Bull with the role of favorite team but remember that the season is long, and it won’t be the first race to make the difference.
We are on the eve of a new season. How is your mood compared to twelve months ago?
“Last year I felt optimistic, then the first part of the championship turned out to be tougher than expected in my case. This year I tried to arrive at the start of the new season more prepared, I tried to use the three days of testing to adapt my driving style to the single-seater, and I think I’ve made some progress. Each car has its own characteristics, but the SF-23 is actually an evolution of the previous car, so the changes aren’t that radical.”
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
There are rumors according to which you would have found yourself better than Charles in your first approach with the single-seater…
“I don’t know where these rumors come from, but I haven’t heard anything about it in the team. I don’t know how these convictions can take shape from the outside, we haven’t yet taken the car to the limit, and until we push hard in qualifying, any consideration is premature”.
Ferrari SF-23: the red is getting ready for tomorrow’s free practice
Photo by: Roberto Chinchero
You had four days to analyze the findings from the tests, what scenario emerged?
“We found that the single-seater reacts exactly as we expected from the analysis of the work done in the wind tunnel and on the simulator. I’m happy with this aspect, but we don’t know yet if we’ll be able to get where we want to be, this aspect will only emerge over the course of the season. The first answer will arrive in 48 hours, we will see…”.
These days nobody seems to want to go too far, hiding behind the concept that ‘we don’t know what our opponents have done’…
“There is a question mark on the last two or three tenths, but in F1 the last two or three tenths are the most important, something crucial in this sport. I have no idea where exactly Ferrari, Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes will stand, but I don’t think I’m revealing a secret in saying that the team in the best form seems to be Red Bull. I think that at least initially they will be the reference, but we’ll see”.
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager of Scuderia Ferrari
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
What has changed with the new team principal?
“Fred has a different profile from Mattia and is starting to leave his mark on the way the team is managed. We’re talking about a structure made up of 1,200 people, a number that needs time to be analyzed and understood, and let’s not forget that his first days on track with the team date back to last week. He is still in the learning phase, but we are already starting to see new things ”.
Do changes to management strategies give you confidence?
“When there is a change there is always the confidence that it can work at its best, but in the end it is not a revolution as one thinks from the outside”.
Do you think the team feels a bit under pressure having started with a brace twelve months ago?
“I don’t have this feeling as I didn’t start very well last year. But just in 2022 we saw that whoever wins the first race doesn’t necessarily win the championship, and on the contrary, you can also retire with both cars in the first race of the year and be champion at the end of the season, and that’s what happened last year. year at Red Bull. So whatever happens in this first race we will have to keep our feet on the ground and stay focused on the work ahead. Sunday evening, whatever the verdict, we will have 22 races to go.”
Ferrari SF-23: the medium-load wing remains the first choice for Sakhir
Photo by: George Piola
Will you have any news that will arrive for tomorrow or any changes you will make to the single-seaters before the weekend starts?
“There are always aspects you test and improve, otherwise it wouldn’t be Formula 1. We will try to create the best possible package for this first race, I think there is still room for improvement from where we finished in the test. And we’ll try to put it all together.”
Did you expect such a fast Aston Martin?
“Already since last December there were rumors according to which Aston Martin would take a big step forward. We know their numbers in the wind tunnel and in the simulator were very good, I guess they have also tried to contain these rumors, but the tests have confirmed the rumors, and I think they are in the group of the front teams. In general, I think it’s good news for Formula 1, and obviously also for Fernando.”
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