Carlos Sainz was left feeling a bit low after Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix, with Ferrari having again struggled to match Aston Martin and Mercedes when it came to race pace.
Up until Sunday’s race at the Miami International Autodrome, Sainz had been enjoying a solid weekend, with the Spaniard having qualified third.
The 28-year-old looked really good in qualifying and was seen as a definite contender for the final step on the podium, if he could get the better of Fernando Alonso.
Sainz actually made a strong start to the fifth race of the season and kept Alonso within his sights, before attempting an undercut on his fellow Spaniard.
Whilst the undercut was technically a success, it massively backfired for the Ferrari driver, who was awarded a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit-lane.
The penalty ended up having no effect on his finishing position after he was overtaken by Alonso and George Russell, who both showed great pace on the Hard compound.
It left Sainz to finish the race in fifth, with the Hard compound having simply been Ferrari’s downfall.
It marked another afternoon of confusion for Sainz, with the SF-23’s performance having drastically differed between qualifying and the race once again.
He labelled their current situation as a “bit of a slap on the face”, with Red Bull’s superiority not helping their current situation.
“Good stint with the mediums, that made me think that the podium and passing Fernando [Alonso] was possible,” Sainz said.
“We stopped on lap 18 or so and, when we stopped and did two or three fast laps with the hard to do the undercut, that ruined the rest of the race because we started to degrade and overheat the tyre.
“We have a car with very little flexibility in terms of strategy, so if you try anything you get out of the ideal number of laps for the hard tyres and it can be very long. We suffer a lot from inconsistency, overheating and so on.
“We have to keep trying things, but every Saturday we fight for pole and then Sunday comes and we get a bit of a slap in the face in the race, with the Red Bulls on another planet, the Aston Martin also with better degradation, the Mercedes who are a second behind in qualifying suddenly two or three tenths down on us.”