Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz no longer feels as though the car is going to snap away from him when he pushes, like he did at the start of the season.
Sainz span out of the Australian Grand Prix after a multitude of issues saw him qualify ninth, before his Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend was affected by a crash in qualifying, while contact with a concrete barrier in practice ahead of the Miami Grand Prix did little for his confidence either.
The Spaniard span into the gravel at his home race in Barcelona as he eventually recovered to fourth, but the last race in Canada looked as though he might have been turning a corner.
Although team-mate Charles Leclerc was given a grid penalty that dropped him to 19th, Sainz was generally out-performing the Monegasque in qualifying as he started a race in front for the first time in 2022 when he qualified third as Fernando Alonso took a brilliant front row start for Alpine.
The 27-year-old pushed polesitter Max Verstappen hard until the end of the race, but was forced to settle for second as he continues to wait for his first win having started 149 races.
He noted after the race that he is beginning to feel more comfortable behind the wheel of the F1-75.
“I really want to focus in getting to a track and see if I can get myself in a good window of performance and comfort inside the car,” Sainz said.
“I think this weekend [Canada] I did that, right since FP1 I looked very quick, both in qualifying and race pace.
“In the race I was pushing flat-out without any fear of losing the car, like I had, for example, in Barcelona.
“Some good progress being made; we’ve changed a bit of things on the car to try and make it a bit more to my liking, and they seem to be working.
“But at the same time, I think I need more circuits, I need more different kinds of corners to have a proper feel for that.”
The former Toro Rosso, Renault and McLaren driver conceded ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix that he does not really see himself as a title contender, and he reiterates that the title is not on his mind as he goes into every race looking to perform as well as he can.
“I want to take it a bit more race by race, you know, not thinking too much about the championship or anything like that,” stated Sainz.
Sainz is now 73 points adrift of championship lead Verstappen, and he continues to sit fifth behind Mercedes’ George Russell.