Carlos Sainz reflects on what he believes was his most challenging weekend in Ferrari colours
Carlos Sainz’s second place for Ferrari at the Bahrain Grand Prix behind teammate Charles Leclerc secured a one-two finish for the Scuderia. The Spaniard however was not completely comfortable with his performance, never matching his teammate’s searing pace across the weekend. Trialling different set-ups through the three practice sessions, he made a step forward in qualifying, lining up third on the grid.
Sainz was a comfortable but distant third during the race, defending from Sergio Perez’s Red Bull. After Red Bull’s double retirement, Sainz inherited second place at the chequered flag.
Commenting after the race, Sainz said that he needed to look into the data to understand his struggles with the F1-75 in Bahrain: “It may sound a bit strange to say it now, but as a Ferrari driver it was my most difficult weekend. I did not have the pace, neither in the race or in Friday practice.
For some reason that I need to understand, in quali I was suddenly there or thereabouts fighting for pole position but today in the race it exposed my weaknesses with this car, and it shows that I am still not quite there, which is something that last year never happened. So, some work to do for me
“I will celebrate with the whole team but from Monday I will be looking into data and into what I can do better to drive this car and be fighting for the win next time”
🇧🇭Ferrari is back! Congrats everyone! This 1-2 is the perfect reward for the endless job done to recover and we share our joy with every Tifosi. I didn’t feel at home in the car this weekend, but we go again next week. Congrats to Charles. Forza Ferrari!
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) March 20, 2022
Sainz said it was “great news” Ferrari were back winning races after the challenges the Scuderia have faced. 2020 was a particularly tough campaign, when they finished a distant sixth in the Constructors Championship: “It’s just great news for Ferrari and for us because it’s where Ferrari should be and it’s where Charles and I want to be in our lives, fighting for World Championships”
Sainz also commented that the development race this year will be intense, and will be vital if Ferrari want to stay ahead as 2022 progresses: “It’s still going to be a long year, we still need to make sure that we develop well this car, because at the moment it is a quick car, but it also needs to be quick the whole year to keep us in the fight. And it’s a great problem to have, actually”.
Despite his challenges in Bahrain, Sainz said it felt “good” to be part of the Ferrari revival, as the team looks to build on its early momentum: “Before the race, Charles and I were working together and the first thing that we said to each other is how good it feels, just to be starting first and third and to finally be fighting for something bigger, and together.
And we kind of had that moment of just realising that we are in the fight this year, and it was… between us a good moment to reflect and to realise that we are a lot luckier in that sense than last year, and we have a good fight on our hands.”
Sainz currently lies second in the driver’s standings, 8 points behind his teammate Charles Leclerc. Ferrari’s haul of 44 points in the opening race also sees the Scuderia lead the Constructors Championship for the first time since 2019.