Carlos Sainz believes Spa a ‘one-off’ for Ferrari, predicts Red Bull battle at Zandvoort

Sam Cooper
Carlos Sainz staring during a press conference. Spa, August 2022.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz stares out during a press conference. Spa, August 2022.

Carlos Sainz believes Ferrari will be back among the top positions at the Dutch Grand Prix despite a poor showing at Spa.

The Spaniard started at the front of the Belgian Grand Prix grid following Max Verstappen’s move to P14, but was unable to keep hold of the P1 spot for too long.

Having breezed his way through the pack, Verstappen soon did the same to the Ferrari man who could offer little in terms of defence.

Red Bull then made it a one-two finish with Sergio Perez also overtaking Sainz to cap a miserable day for the team.

Late in the race, Sainz survived a late charge from George Russell, while his team-mate Charles Leclerc moved down to P6 following a penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

The Spaniard admitted the “power” of the Red Bull was just too much for them during the race and said the team needed to analyse why that was.

“I don’t know how much per lap but it was a lot per lap,” Sainz replied when asked by Sky Sports F1 how big the gap between they and Red Bull currently is. “We will have to go back and analyse why.

“I think it’s a one-off. I think they just had a super-strong weekend. We had a bit of a weaker one on a track that probably didn’t suit us a lot. So we need to analyse why and take some some conclusions, but on our race we did everything we could do today but we were just not fast enough.”

But the Spaniard did not think the race was terminal for Ferrari’s title chances and predicted them to be back in the fight at the next grand prix at Zandvoort. He was asked what is a bigger challenge, catching up to Red Bull or keeping Mercedes behind, and while he did it admit it was the latter in Belgium, Sainz was confident Ferrari would bounce back.

“Today it was Mercedes, but I think at Zandvoort we can be back on form and beat Red Bull again,” said Sainz. “I’m not particularly worried about that. I think we just had a bit of a difficult weekend and this track was perfectly suited to Red Bull.

“I think Zandvoort is a better hunting ground for us and we should be stronger there. It doesn’t mean we should beat Red Bull or comfortably beat them, but get back in the fight? I am convinced we should.”

Sainz is fourth in the Drivers’ Championship, 113 points behind leader Verstappen and 15 behind team-mate Leclerc in third.