Carlos Sainz issues clear Ferrari demand following ‘no man’s land’ Brazil GP drive

Henry Valantine
Carlos Sainz looks on at Interlagos next to Charles Leclerc.

Carlos Sainz looks on next to Charles Leclerc.

Carlos Sainz wants Ferrari to “bin” the clutch with which he started the race in Brazil, before saying he felt as though he was in “no man’s land” pace-wise on Sunday.

Sainz got off to a slow start at Interlagos but made several overtakes on his way to a top-six finish come the chequered flag, though with team-mate Charles Leclerc suffering a hydraulic problem that sent him spinning into the wall on the formation lap, only one Ferrari finished the race.

On an afternoon where rivals Mercedes were off form, Sainz believes it was a “missed opportunity” for the Scuderia, and reported over team radio of his car’s equipment during the race: “I just hope we bin this clutch, as soon as we’re back in Maranello.”

Carlos Sainz reflects on ‘missed opportunity’ for Ferrari at Interlagos

Having taken a few points out of Mercedes’ advantage in the Constructors’ standings, Sainz believes it could have been more if the issue that came onto Leclerc’s car didn’t occur.

Alongside that, he did not believe Ferrari had the best of weekends all round, with rivals proving to have a better of time of things than has been the case for much of the season.

“A bit of a missed opportunity with the retirement of Charles to cut a bit more points from Mercedes, but the reality is that this weekend we didn’t really have a lot of pace,” Sainz told Sky Sports F1 after the race.

“We were honestly just a bit on the back foot with the car, with these long corners were like a bit like in Zandvoort where Aston was on the podium, Alpine were quick in Zandvoort also.

“A bit the same as here, we just seemed to struggle. We did an okay race but, unfortunately, we were a bit in no man’s land.”

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Sainz was glad that Mercedes were unable to extend their advantage over Ferrari with two more races left in 2023, though he is holding out hope that the Scuderia will be able to be on better form in Las Vegas in a fortnight.

“It’s not easy, we could have taken a bit more points from them, but at least they struggled,” he added of Mercedes’ issues.

“We also struggled this weekend, I think with both Mercs and we were a bit of a step down compared to everyone else and we need to analyse why, so hopefully we can come back stronger and Vegas should be better for us, I hope.

“We need to analyse what happened with Charles but I’m hoping that is a bit of a one-off. I had a hydraulic problem also in free practice in Mexico, so let’s see what the problem was.”

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