Sainz preaches caution despite Canada bounce back
By Ian Parkes
Wednesday 21st June, 2023 - 9:23pm
Carlos Sainz has sounded a note of caution despite the improvement in performance shown by Ferrari in the Canadian Grand Prix.
Whilst qualifying on Saturday was a day to forget for the Scuderia, Sunday’s race at least provided a welcome tonic to ease some of the pressure being brought to bear on the team.
Unlike team-mate Charles Leclerc who was unable to escape Q2 due to a strategy call, Sainz at least reached the top-1o shoot-out but due to the conditions only managed to finish eighth quickest.
The Spanish driver’s woes were compounded by the fact he received a three-place grid penalty for impeding Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, relegating him to 11th, a place behind Leclerc on the starting grid.
The duo then went on to take the chequered flag with Leclerc fourth and Sainz fifth as the SF-23 finally showed promise.
After hailing the pit wall for “nailing the strategy”, as both drivers stayed out when a safety car was called for George Russell’s lap 12 crash, Sainz said: “We had strong pace all weekend.
“It’s a pity about quali because I think we would have been in the mix with the Merc and the Aston but our fault, our bad.
“We’ll try to make it better the next time we have another good opportunity like in Canada.
“But at least the feeling with the car was good and we were pushing hard out there.”
Sainz, however, feels Montréal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve played to the strengths of the Ferrari, as opposed to the previous race in Barcelona where an upgrade was introduced.
The 28-year-old believes a clearer picture will be drawn following the next race in Austria from June 30-July 2.
“We’re making progress but I think our competitiveness depends on circuit by circuit,” assessed Sainz.
“In Barcelona, with the high-speed corners, we struggled. In Canada, we knew we were going to be stronger because of the layout, and we were stronger.
“So let’s see now, when we go to Austria, how everything feels because I think we’re going to rely a lot of our performance on that because, also with the deg and the harder tyres, things change.
“But in Canada, we were definitely one step better than in Barcelona.”