Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz does not believe there will be a pattern in the final part of the season of Red Bull being consistently faster than the Scuderia.
The Belgian Grand Prix weekend actually started off pretty strong for the Italian side, with Sainz leading a one-two ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc in the opening practice session.
But Max Verstappen topped FP2 by eight tenths of a second from the Monegasque, before Sergio Perez went fastest on Saturday morning ahead of his team-mate.
The Dutchman went on to take pole position by six tenths from Sainz, but was sent down the order by a grid penalty along with Leclerc, who qualified fourth behind Perez.
But from 14th on the grid, Verstappen cut through the field like a knife through butter, and won the race by nearly 18 seconds from team-mate Perez.
Sainz took third after seeing off the threat from Mercedes’ George Russell behind, and Leclerc was called into the pits late on to try and set the fastest lap.
He got caught behind Fernando Alonso though, and passing him on the final tour denied him the chance to go quickest, before he was penalised for speeding in the pit lane, sending him down the sixth.
All of that happened after a tear-off from Verstappen’s visor had ruined his race when it got lodged in his brake duct.
It was another frustrating weekend for the Maranello-based side, at a power-oriented circuit that was always going to suit their rivals, so Sainz is not concerned about the deficit.
“I think it’s a one-off, I think they just had a super-strong weekend,” he said.
“We had a bit of a weaker one on a track that probably didn’t suit us a lot, so we need to analyse why and take some conclusions, but on our race we did everything we could do today but we were just not fast enough.
“I think at Zandvoort we can be back on form and beat Red Bull again, I’m not particularly worried about that.
“I think we just had a bit of a difficult weekend and this track was perfectly suited to Red Bull.
“I think Zandvoort is a better hunting ground for us and we should be stronger there, it doesn’t mean we should beat Red Bull or comfortably beat them, but get back in the fight? I am convinced we should.”
Red Bull’s fourth one-two of the season puts them 118 points clear of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Standings, while Verstappen now leads Perez by 93 in the drivers’ battle.