Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz admits that compatriot Fernando Alonso is more likely to win a race this season than he is.
The 28-year-old has discussed the competitiveness of the SF-23 machine, making the assessment that Aston Martin has an advantage over the Scuderia – ” especially in race pace.”
Some would dispute this point, given Ferrari’s pace with Charles Leclerc at Bahrain and Carlos Sainz’s strong recovery in Australia until his collision with the Double World Champion.
Regardless, reliability failures and issues with tire wear – which were especially clear in the first round – are two areas for the factory at Maranello to analyze and improve upon ahead of Baku.
Speaking with Spain’s Antena3, Sainz was about his perception of Ferrari’s competitiveness at this stage of the season:
“Well, I think he’s a little bit closer than me. The truth is that we aren’t far off.
“He’s been finishing third in races, I’ve been finishing in fourth and fifth.
“It looks like Aston Martin is a little superior to us, especially in terms of race pace.
“I would say that he’s a little closer to that #22. If I were at home watching F1, like everyone else, I would be rooting for him.
“For me, the second victory, I think it can happen at any time, but it’s true that we need a little bit more.
“We need Red Bull to fail, and we need a step forward to beat Aston Martin and Mercedes.”
A relatively small sample size of three races makes it difficult to make any conclusions about the pecking order. However, it is safe to assume that Red Bull is beyond reach for Ferrari.
Before Ferrari can think about closing the gap to the RB19, it will be crucial to address the avoidable errors that have occurred costly in 2023 so far.
Sainz, meanwhile, will be focused on bouncing back from his pointless weekend in Australia and finding the form that seemed to abandon him last season.