Carlos Sainz believes one of Red Bull’s greatest strengths is tyre management with the RB19 still maintaining grip even when its rivals begin to slip and slide.
That, he says, is down to aerodynamics and it’s something Ferrari need to fix with next season’s car.
Although Sainz led the early laps at the Italian Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen, the Dutchman was smiling as he reported that “it’s all okay” as Sainz is “already sliding a bit”.
Carlos Sainz: That’s why they are so dominant in the races
That meant Verstappen was able to harry the Ferrari driver and he eventually overtook him on lap 15, passing him through the Roggia chicane to set himself up for the victory. Sainz crossed the line in third place with Verstappen commenting on his tyre issues in the cooldown room.
Verstappen: I feel sorry for you. You were sliding around a lot.
Sainz: You see that?
Verstappen: Your top speed saved you.
Sainz, who also lost out to the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez, believes it’s the RB19’s ability to maintain grip when others are sliding around on hot tyres that sets Red Bull apart from the rest of the field.
“If you compare us to Mercedes and other teams, it looked like we did have some decent pace this weekend,” the Spaniard told the media including PlanetF1.com.
“If you compare us to Red Bull, they were clearly quicker for me, especially from lap five, lap six once the tyres coming to temperature and you’re driving on a hotter tyre and with less grip than the first five laps when the tyre is new.
“There is where you clearly feel that the Red Bull can make a difference and can either manage more but keep a good pace or they can either just push more for a faster pace and deg less.”
It’s something Ferrari are working to resolve with next year’s car.
“It’s difficult,” Sainz continued. “We are trying to find the solution and the way forward. I do believe a lot of is still aerodynamics and we still need to keep working on our aero package for next year.
“For this year, I think it’s what we have and that’s why they are so dominant in the races.”
The Spaniard, however, reckons in general teams found the tyre degradation at this season’s Italian Grand Prix higher than expected with six drivers opting for two-stop strategies which is not the norm for Monza.
He says although Ferrari committed to a one-stopper, at the end of both his stints the rubber on his tyres was completely worn away.
“It did feel high deg for me,” he said. “It did feel more like a two-stop than a one-stop.
“In the end, we committed to a one-stop because that’s what our numbers suggested before the race but honestly, I was probably five laps short in each of these things.
“The last four laps I did on the medium I did it with zero rubber left. And the last five laps, ten laps I did with the hard I did them with zero rubber left.
“That’s why I was sliding around so much and that’s why I guess if other teams had a similar feeling committed to a two-stop, because for me a one-stop was very tight and very on the limit.”