Carlos Sainz: ‘I don’t know how to answer’

Many suspect Red Bull to win every title until 2026, when the new power unit regulations are introduced.

Carlos Sainz is unsure how long Red Bull’s dominance will last, with the Austrians having recently sealed a second consecutive Constructors’ Championship.

Max Verstappen’s victory at the recent Japanese Grand Prix was enough to claim Red Bull the 2023 title, whilst he can wrap up the Drivers’ Championship this Saturday in the Qatar Grand Prix sprint race.

If Sergio Perez wins the sprint, then the reigning World Champion just needs to finish sixth to secure a third consecutive title.

Verstappen is just in a complete league of his own currently, something most expect to continue until at least 2026, when the new power unit regulations are introduced.

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Given how far ahead Red Bull are, it does seem realistic to think that the Austrians won’t be beaten whilst the current regulations are in effect, although Sainz has revealed that Ferrari have identified “exactly what we are missing”.

Whilst he’s unsure if Red Bull can be caught, he believes that if any team can do it, it’ll be Ferrari.

“We know exactly what we are missing,” Sainz said at a sponsor event in Madrid. “We have been able to identify and understand it.

“I think that if there is a team capable of doing it, it is Ferrari. But time will tell.”

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Red Bull have actually in many ways robbed fans of an incredibly close championship, with Sainz pointing out that if Red Bull weren’t on the grid, then Mercedes, Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren would be fighting for the title.

“Without them, we would be talking about one of the most even and fun years in F1, with Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all at a very similar level,” added Sainz.

“But actually we have someone who is half a second ahead.”

Like most teams, Ferrari have already stopped development of their 2023 car, with the side now fully focused on 2024.

Ferrari are hopeful that by starting development of their 2024 car early, that they’ll be able to take a chunk out of Red Bull’s advantage.

Whilst he hopes it’s enough, Sainz isn’t sure whether Red Bull can be beaten.

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“Time will tell. I just don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know how to answer.

“The only thing I can do is be optimistic and think that a team like Ferrari has the capacity to do it, especially if McLaren has taken such a step.

“At least we know what we have to work on, what we have to improve and if that takes us to Red Bull’s level, well. I certainly hope so.”