Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has observed that the team tend to get more criticism than praise.
The Spaniard has won one race in 2022, and has been on the podium seven times, including both of the first two rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The 28-year-old’s season has not been without its stumbling blocks though, one of which has come in the form of strategic errors.
Both he and Charles Leclerc have lost wins and podiums as a result of blunders, both on the pit wall, and in the pit lane, and it has ultimately cost them the chance of fighting for the championship.
As quick as the F1-75, as well as the drivers, have been this year, the Red Bull pairing of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have claimed 12 of the opening 16 rounds between them.
The drivers themselves have been guilty of one or two detrimental mistakes, but reliability and strategy have stood out as the main factors towards what has been a tough season after the opening three rounds.
The Scuderia have taken a lot of stick as a result of their errors, but Sainz is not sure all of it is entirely fair.
“I think it’s very difficult to generalise about where we should have been more brave or more cautious. I think you would need to pick one by one and analyse them independently,” he told Formula1.com.
“I’m pretty sure one by one, every result or every conclusion will be different. For me, it’s all about continuous improvement and continuously finding ways to make the right calls at the right time.
“And there have been a lot of times during the year where we’ve done the right calls and no one has come to us to say, ‘Oh, you did the right call’ or congratulate us for that.
“But on the other hand, when there’s been two or three – let’s say call them bad calls with hindsight – there’s been massive criticism about it.”
The Madrid-born driver also notes that other teams on the grid do not take the same amount of flack that his side do.
“And I find that a bit tougher in Ferrari. I feel like when I was in McLaren, or in Toro Rosso or in Renault, when there was a big mistake on strategy no one would come and point it out and criticise you and put you down to earth like as much as they do in Ferrari,” explained Sainz.
“And this is a fact that I think everyone can agree with.
“While in Ferrari, everything seems bigger, the victory is bigger; the mistake is bigger, and it’s just like that, no?
“It’s something I’m adapting myself to, and it’s something I need to learn how to react better in the situations. We go back to a factory, and we try to improve it.”
Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have now scored 13 podiums between them this year and, after a tough start, they find themselves 35 points adrift of Ferrari in the championship.
The battle for second is going to be an interesting one heading into the final six races of the season, but Sainz believes his team can come out ahead.
“Am I worried about Mercedes? Worried is not the right word,” said the 28-year-old.
“I think we know they’re going to be there pretty much in every Sunday, especially Sundays they seem to pick up a lot of pace compared to qualifying and they are always there.
“I’m always surprised how in qualifying they can be maybe one second off sometimes and suddenly come race day your engineer comes on the radio, and they tell you the lap times of Lewis and George and it’s like sometimes they are even quicker so… we know they’re going to be there but I think we can still beat them fair and square.”
Sainz and Leclerc are under contract at Ferrari until the end of 2024, and there is now a lot of work going on in Maranello to prepare for a stronger championship push next season.