Falling short of pre-season expectations and hype, Carlos Sainz insists no one is “more upset or angry or unhappy about the situation” than Ferrari.
Sainz and his team-mate Charles Leclerc prepared for the new season dreaming of a title tilt under new team boss Fred Vasseur.
But three races into the championship neither driver has even featured on the podium, Sainz 49 points off the pace set by reigning World Champion Max Verstappen with Leclerc lagging a further 14 behind.
Racing an unbalanced car that like its predecessor is proving to be a tyre-eater, Sainz has conceded that Ferrari are lacking in all areas compared to the championship-leading Red Bull RB19.
And it’s a situation no one at Ferrari is happy about.
“You have to realise that nobody is more upset or angry or unhappy about the situation than every single [team member] here,” he said as per Motorsport.com.
“We’re the ones who aren’t happy.
“We’re the first to not like the situation. And we’re the ones who are going full throttle to turn [the situation] around because it’s also about our egos, our performance.
“We’re proud to be Ferrari and we want to take Ferrari forward. And sometimes the comments [in the media] are more of a distraction and drag us down rather than helping us.”
Ferrari’s performances this season have included two retirements for Leclerc as well as a non-score for the team at the Australian Grand Prix where Sainz was penalised late in the race, the Spaniard falling from fourth to P12.
It has the Scuderia’s critics out in force, something the 28-year-old says they really don’t need as they try to pull themselves back into contention.
“It’s just that [excessive criticism] doesn’t help. And that lack of help isn’t exactly what we need right now,” Sainz said.
“That’s why we try to stay away from such comments. We don’t need any additional distractions or other people who drag us down.”
Ferrari pinning hopes of Imola upgrade
Under F1’s new ground effect aerodynamic regulations, the cars are still in their infancy having only been introduced last season.
That means there’s still a lot of scope to improve, “tonnes” if you ask Vasseur.
Ferrari are set to introduce a big upgrade at the first of their two home races, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, one that will address the SF-23’s balance issues.
Although Vasseur insisted the upgrades would not go as far as to be a B-spec car, he added: “We have a stream of updates for different types of downforce, in Baku it’s not advisable to introduce anything new because there is the sprint race, but in Miami, Imola and Barcelona we will always have updates on the cars, and that was part of the programme.
“We have made some changes in terms of set-up and the situation in Melbourne has improved, so we will continue in that direction. You will not see a ‘B’ version car, to answer the question, something completely different will not come. We will continue to update and we will do it massively.”