Carlos Sainz says Ferrari “chose to be disciplined” in evaluating the unofficial Barcelona test where they arguably looked the pick of the bunch.
Formula 1 has had its first three days of track running with the all-new cars and Ferrari were certainly satisfied with the reliability shown by the F1-75.
The Scuderia encountered no significant issues and were also quick, especially on the first two days before Mercedes and Red Bull began to unleash some pace from their new challengers.
But although Ferrari have made it clear they expect to become winners again in the forthcoming season for the first time since 2019, you will not hear them shouting from the rooftops about how they are going to kick the butts of their rivals.
“As a team, we are very disciplined in not having expectations because we don’t rely at all on these tests,” said Sainz on Sky Italia, his total of 236 laps over the three days at the Circuit de Catalunya having been the highest among the 21 drivers in action, 24 ahead of second-placed Daniel Ricciardo.
“You will not see either a happy team or a disappointed one because we chose to be disciplined in not believing too much what happens during these tests.
“We just do our run plan, we don’t think too much about where we are now but just about developing the car. When you do 150-200 laps in a day and a half you have to be positive because the car gave you no trouble.”
That’s a wrap for the first test. Really satisfied with all the work we’ve done in Barcelona. Too early to draw clear conclusions, but we completed our run plan and gathered valuable data. Now, time to regroup and prepare for the final test in Bahrain.
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) February 25, 2022
The Spaniard’s team-mate, Charles Leclerc, meanwhile is making no secret of the aim to this year increase his total of two F1 victories, both of which came in September 2019 at back-to-back races in Belgium and Italy.
“It’s a completely new year, which represents an opportunity for us, we know that,” said Leclerc.
“We have to exploit this opportunity as much as possible, so this year we want to get back to fighting for some grands prix and victories.
“Last year this goal was probably less realistic, this year it’s something we all know we could do.
“So we have to give 200%, it’s what we are doing, and I really hope to see the results this season.”
Of the positive outcome to the test, Leclerc added: “We are quite happy that things went quite well. On the other hand, I think we are working harder than ever, keeping our heads down.
“Clearly it’s always good to be ahead, but this doesn’t mean anything and I think we are all aware of that inside the team.
“We are not focusing at all on the performance, we are focusing on ourselves, to try to understand this car 100%. That’s it.
“We are already focused on Bahrain, where maybe we will try to push a bit more.”
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