Carlos Sainz: Ferrari don’t need to worry about Mercedes, only about winning

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz of Ferrari during drivers parade, pulling a face. Hungary July 2022

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz of Ferrari during drivers parade, pulling a face. Hungary July 2022

Carlos Sainz believes Ferrari don’t need to worry about Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship, if they can just get back to winning races, they’ll see them off anyway.

It’s been more than two months since Ferrari last took the chequered flag at a grand prix, Charles Leclerc P1 in Austria.

Since then Max Verstappen has gone on a rampage, winning five races in a row to stand on the cusp of a second World title, while even Mercedes’ results have been better than Ferrari’s.

While the Scuderia managed just three podiums in the last five races, Mercedes amassed six to close the gap in the Constructors’ Championship to 35 points.

With 279 points still up for grabs in the teams’ competition, Ferrari – the early season favourites to win the titles – are now in a fight just to hold onto second.

Sainz, however, says Ferrari aren’t worried about Mercedes, they are worried about getting back to winning form.

If they manage that, they’ll see off the Brackley squad.

“We are concerned about getting back to winning, more than Mercedes,” he said. “Honestly, if we know we get back to winning before the end of the season, then the battle with Mercedes should be sorted.

“I think we have both cars always qualifying in the top three, top four. So yeah, we need to get that race pace back, like we did in Monza: we had a much better race pace and like this we don’t get out-raced on Sunday from the Merc.

“I think we just need to get focusing on trying to beat Red Bull whenever we can, and that should sort out the Championship battle.”

Ferrari are nearing the end of a season in which the team’s form has been all over the place as they have leaked points through strategy errors and reliability issues.

Sainz has urged the Scuderia to focus on consistency in the run in to the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

“Personally, I would like six consistent races, a bit of gathering momentum before next year,” said the Spaniard. “Because this year, for me, has been characterised by never getting more than two or three consecutive good races, always have a reliability issue, bad pit stop, a strategy issue that comes into play.

“When you’re about to get in a good run of races, you know, that is so important in Formula 1 to gather a bit of momentum and get the confidence for the team and for myself building.

“So, we come from Monza, which was a pretty strong race for me and a good comeback. Also, fighting for pole position, even with a penalty.

“Hopefully from now on a bit more of that and just more podium finishes, and, more importantly, a win. That I think would be ideal to break the Red Bull record and try to keep ourselves winning and keeping having that good momentum into next year.”

Sainz will line-up on the Singapore Grand Prix grid P5 in the Drivers’ Championship with 187 points, 32 off the pace in the fight for P2 that currently belongs to his team-mate Leclerc.

Read more: Mario Andretti: Ferrari have handed Max Verstappen the title on a plate