Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz believes the team “fully understands” what it wants to achieve with its 2024 car characteristics, the next step is putting it into action.
Work has been ongoing at Maranello to put the Scuderia back on a more consistent footing for next season, with the 2023 campaign having been up and down so far, based on the type of track Formula 1 has been visiting at any one time.
Taking the past fortnight as an example, Sainz performed extremely well to reach the top five with Ferrari off the pace at Zandvoort, before he placed his car on pole and took his first podium of the season at Monza a week later.
Carlos Sainz: Ferrari ‘fully understand what we want’ from 2024 car
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Given the lack of consistency Ferrari have had so far this season, making the 2024 challenger something of an all-rounder would be an obvious observation to an outsider, but Sainz revealed that the team have been working hard behind the scenes to figure out what they want from their car.
They believe they have done that, but the next step will be putting it into action in the development phase of the car.
“I think we fully understand what we want from next year’s car and where we want to put the car next year and what characteristics we want the car to have,” Sainz stated to media including PlanetF1.com at Monza.
“Another thing is, obviously, whether we can fully achieve it or not and, on that, we are fully focused now on the simulator, on the wind tunnel, and even on free practices, taking time to still keep experimenting with things to make sure that we have everything covered for next year’s car.”
With how the SF-23 has varied in performance from track to track this season, Sainz expanded on what it is that has caused issues for the team so far this year.
Tyre wear has been a problem, with the Spaniard admitting after the Italian Grand Prix that excessive wear early on in trying to hold Max Verstappen behind him almost cost him a podium come the chequered flag.
Nonetheless, he said the wind is what can unsettle the car, and has contributed to why Ferrari have struggled at certain tracks this year.
“It’s not a secret that we’ve been struggling a lot to keep the car [on] some types of tracks, especially in unpredictable conditions like wind gusts, long corners where you spend a long time in a corner depending on downforce,” he expanded.
“And also probably part of our tyre problems sometimes can come from this because it can be a car that is also hard on tyres because of that.
“So that’s why I say we understand the problem, we understand why our main issue is. Now we need to see next year [if] we can do everything better and produce a better car.
“We need to trust our process, our simulations and the feedback of the drivers. That is pretty crystal clear, what we need to understand.”