“If I can manipulate the lap time into six seconds…”

Carlos Sainz will only get back on the SF-23 for Saturday afternoon, the last practice session in Bahrain. He got out of the car with the best time in the morning this Friday, although Verstappen would later lower it. The Spaniard already has in his head a sketch of the strengths and weaknesses of this Ferrari that aspires to win the World Cup, but first it must beat Red Bull. In a meeting with the Spanish media present at the Sakhir circuit, Sainz sheds some light on the opacity of the tests. “Everything is going well, we tried a lot of things and improved the car as much as we can. We explore different work windows. I am learning a lot and I am having fun. We hope that little by little we will continue to progress ”, he explains to AS.

He does not go into talking about the degradation of tires that can be seen from the time table and neither does he talk about whether he seems more comfortable than Leclerc in this car: “It is impossible to compare, I am rolling in the morning with the track a little slower; him in the afternoon when the wind changes and it is colder”.

Carlos Sainz (Ferrari SF-23).  Sakhir, Bahrain.  F1 2023.


Carlos Sainz (Ferrari SF-23). Sakhir, Bahrain. F1 2023.ALI HAIDEREFE

Neither has he focused on looking for performance laps, but on preparing thoroughly for next week’s Bahrain GP: “Until I go to the limit in qualifying, to look for that last tenth that I was missing at the beginning of last year, In the tests it is impossible to know if I have it in my pocket or not. We won’t know until the first race but I’m trying to arrive as prepared as possible, which is what I missed last year. Explore ‘set-up’ things, driving style”. He wants to correct what did not go well in 2022: “I arrived at the first race without knowing how to run the car, what set-up to use, and I want to take advantage of these tests to find out exactly how to go in settings and driving style. driving. If the car is ready to win or not, we will find out in the first race”.

“It looks like Red Bull is going to go very fast”

He has good words about the new engine: “Reliable, we haven’t had a single problem and we have to value it. We ride smoothly every day and that’s a good sign.” He highlights that the porposing It’s not a thing of the past: “It keeps bouncing, like all cars, but it’s also because we want it to bounce. The FIA ​​thought that there was going to be no rebound with the regulation change, but the teams can make it bounce if they want (lowering the height of the flat bottom to develop more performance)”.

And the others? “It’s no secret that Red Bull looks very good. It looks like they are going to go very fast, they were already faster than us last year and if they have made another step forward it will be difficult to beat them. But that is our objective, to take a bigger step than them and be at their level”. In any case, Sainz closes with a reflection on the tests that will not help draw conclusions: “I have no idea. I can manipulate the time I do in six seconds, up or down, And if last year we stayed within a tenth of each other, in six seconds, imagine if it is difficult to know what engine map and what gasoline we have”.

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