Carlos Sainz has always been highly rated during his time in Formula 1, impressing in spells with Renault and McLaren before earning a move to Ferrari.
The Spaniard’s debut season with the Scuderia was impressive, finishing fifth in the drivers’ championship and outscoring Ferrari golden boy Charles Leclerc.
While 2022 saw Sainz take his first pole position of his career and win his first Grand Prix at Silverstone, he finished 62 points behind Leclerc who had managed to mount an early title charge as Ferrari got off to a flying start under the new regulations.
The 28-year-old was let down by a series of engine failures over the course of the season and also saw his race ended in Imola and Austin due to the mistakes by Daniel Ricciardo and George Russell.
Sainz has explained that it took him half of 2022 to figure out what he needed to do to match his teammate and challenge for race wins, and believes that if he and Ferrari can find a better level of consistency in 2023 he has a genuine shot at the championship.
“To win races, I already know what it is, but if you want to fight for the world championship, you have to be consistent,” he explained.
“I believe that by learning those couple of lessons and going back to being the consistent Carlos of 2021, who I think will finish all the races, you can fight for the world championship.
“I am going to put the effort and the desire year after year, but then the circumstances have to arise to have one of the best cars and take advantage of it.”
Ferrari will have a different team principal at the held in 2023, as Fred Vasseur replaces the resigning Mattia Binotto as the team look to eradicate the issues that saw the team fall away from Red Bull last season.
Vasseur reportedly prefers to operate with a clear number one and two driver which could spell bad news for Sainz’s title hopes, as it is likely that should the Frenchman prefer one driver, it would be Leclerc, who he has previously worked with during their time together at Sauber.