With neither Ferrari driver in a position any longer to win the title without Max Verstappen dropping points, Carlos Sainz concedes they need a few DNFs for the reigning World Champion.
Last time out in Hungary, a race in which fingers were again pointed at Ferrari’s strategists after Charles Leclerc fell from first to sixth due to a dubious tyre call, the Monégasque driver dropped 80 points behind race winner and championship leader Max Verstappen.
Sainz is even further back, 22 points behind his team-mate.
That means even if one them wins all the remaining races, takes the fastest lap point and comes out on top in Brazil’s sprint race, they cannot win the title if Verstappen is P2 in each of those events.
That means they need the reigning World Champion to drop points – something Verstappen has not done all that often this season.
He lost big points in Bahrain and Australia as a result of engine retirements, and dropped from first to seventh at Silverstone after his RB18 suffered floor damage.
That, though, has been it for the Red Bull driver, in sharp contrast to the points the Ferrari pairing have lost. In retirements alone, Sainz has lost points in four races while Leclerc has three DNFs to his name.
The Spanish driver concedes Ferrari need a bit of help from Red Bull.
“I think it’s clear for Ferrari what we need to do, which is to win those races Max wants to win,” Sainz said, quoted by Motorsportweek.com.
“Because obviously getting those 25 points makes quite a big difference in the points swing.
“I think there are still a lot of things that could happen up there at the front.
“I think there’s always a great battle going on between the two teams, which will keep going until the end of the year.
“It’s true that maybe at some point we need a bit of help from Red Bull in reliability or DNFs but even without those, statistically if it’s open, it’s open and you cannot give up.”
The 27-year-old has vowed to continue pushing hard, saying he will not give up as even if Ferrari do not win this year’s titles, they are learning lessons for next season’s quest.
“I think this is the number one rule in sport,” he said. “Until it’s impossible, you need to keep believing and you need to keep trying to win everything you can and trying to keep yourself in the fight.
“Until a statistic is no longer in your power…until then, we will keep trying, keep developing as a team, keep improving because whatever we can learn this year, it can also be useful for the next few years.”
Ferrari are second in the Constructors’ Championship, 97 points behind Red Bull.
Another day, another Ferrari disaster
Even Charles Leclerc labelled his strategy at Ferrari a "disaster" in Hungary.