Carlos Sainz’s approach to any adversity is analytical. After a 2022 of lights and shadows, the Spanish rider has been self-critical in the winter to correct everything that did not go well for him and start the 2023 course from a more advantageous position. He is in his prime, at 28 years old and facing his ninth F1 campaign. Last year he won his first race (Silverstone) and had three pole positions; but he also suffered when Ferrari was more competitive and lost the regularity that was his hallmark. Also the biting at the exits, although that can be attributed to the difficult clutch of Maranello. In the last few weeks he has reviewed every detail, every race.
“I left last season very clear on where I wanted to improve, convinced on how to be a better driver. It wasn’t an easy season but I won a race, had many podiums and three pole positions with a car that I was not at my best level with. As soon as I am comfortable in the car, I know that I am capable of doing good things. I’m excited about what’s to come this year, says Sainz, who aspires to fight for the title this season with the SF-23 that was presented last Tuesday in Maranello.
“There are things I want to improve on. To give an example, consistency was one of my strong points as a driver but last year, for whatever reason, I abandoned that consistency that made me so strong at McLaren and in my first year with Ferrari. But there are more things, interaction with the team, mental resilience, driving style. Things I’ve put a lot of effort into over the winter. my mentality After several years I felt that I have taken a number of steps in my career as a Formula 1 driver, but to take more steps you have to challenge yourself. It is something very personal, inside the head of the pilot and my engineers. I’m working, we’ll see how it goes”, explains the man from Madrid.
“There are always cars with which you lack that ‘little bit'”
Where Sainz emphasizes, and raises the tone, is in that often-repeated and not for that reason correct statement that the Ferrari was developed to his liking, in terms of ‘set-up’ options, and not so much to Leclerc’s: “ I say it now and of course, an F1 car is not developed for one driver or another, it is developed to go faster. My job as a driver is to indicate where a car is weak, which is checked against data. I give my ‘feedback’, Charles too, it is confirmed with the data and a faster car is made. The only thing that worries me is that the car is fast. Last year I had problems with a specific car that required a specific style of driving. I adapted to make it better, a little late for my liking.
The media questioned him about his problems adapting to the F1-75, due to the recurring difficulties in the first half of 2022: “With last year’s car I was not prepared. With a car like the 2021 one, I would have been prepared. But in the long career of an F1 driver there are always cars that you drive to an exceptional level without squeezing, and there are other cars in which you lack that ‘little’. I learned that fighting in front is different from fighting in the middle zone. It tightens differently, poles are made differently to how they were done in the previous eight or nine years for me. It is an experience that will do me good this year. When I talk about analysis and personal improvement, my experience will help me this season.”