Carlos Sainz breaks his silence amid Red Bull cheating accusations

Ferrari isn’t getting carried away despite a strong starting position around the Marina Bay Circuit, acknowledging the threat Red Bull pose.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has rejected claims that Red Bull is facing a sudden crisis at the Singapore Grand Prix, despite the team’s challenging start to the weekend. 

While Sainz and his teammate Charles Leclerc demonstrated their competitive edge reminiscent of the recent Monza race, the Red Bull cars lagged behind by a significant seven-tenths margin.

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko, expressed concern over the substantial performance gap, stating, “The gap is far too big.” 

Speculation has arisen that the FIA’s recent crackdown on flexible bodywork and wings may have adversely affected Red Bull’s performance. 

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Max Verstappen, Red Bull’s star driver, denied these claims, asserting, “We’ve never really had any flexible front wing or whatever.”

However, Marko admitted to issues with the team’s new floor and an ongoing struggle to find a suitable balance for the car. 

He noted constant challenges with oversteering and understeering, leading to a critical need for adjustments before qualifying. 

Marko acknowledged that the car remained competitive on longer runs, but the team’s concerns were genuine.

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Verstappen echoed these concerns, expressing frustration with their attempts to address the car’s handling issues: “We tried a lot, but nothing worked.” 

Teammate Sergio Perez also expressed his unease, revealing, “Every time I brake, I’m afraid I’ll end up in the wall.”

Marko further elaborated on the drivers’ lack of trust in the car and the unusual situation where Perez had outperformed Verstappen: “The drivers have no trust in the car. It’s also unusual that Perez is two to three tenths faster than Max.”

Ferrari’s resurgence in performance, mirroring their strong showing at Monza two weeks ago, added to Red Bull’s challenges.

Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur acknowledged the pressure on Red Bull, suggesting that under such circumstances, teams tend to make errors. 

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However, he emphasised that Ferrari’s focus remained on their own performance.

Carlos Sainz weighed in on the situation, expressing his skepticism about Red Bull being in major trouble: “Red Bull in crisis? I don’t believe that for a moment.” 

He pointed out that people should consider Red Bull’s strong long-run performance and cautioned against presuming a dominant car would necessarily secure pole position in Singapore.