Carlos Sainz shocked by Ferrari weakness

Carlos Sainz made his SF-23 as wide as possible in the opening laps of the Italian GP last weekend.

Carlos Sainz has openly admitted that his rear tyres started to lose grip “a lot earlier” than he expected them to last weekend at the Italian Grand Prix, where he put up a tremendous defence.

Sainz put his Ferrari on pole in front of the Tifosi, something which certainly wasn’t predicted ahead of the weekend.

Given that reigning World Champion Max Verstappen was starting alongside him on the front row, most thought the Spaniard’s time at the front would be short lived.

This remarkably wasn’t the case, as Sainz made a great start to the race and made his SF-23 as wide as possible.

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Verstappen initially struggled to find a way past the Spaniard, although he was quick to inform Red Bull that he could already see Sainz sliding around.

Sainz started to endure issues with his tyres very early on, mostly due to the rapid pace he was having to stick to in order to remain in front of Verstappen.

Verstappen eventually found a way past on Lap 15, after Sainz got a poor exit from the opening two corners.

It was simply caused by his tyres going off before Verstappen’s, something Ferrari have struggled with all season.

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Sainz went onto finish third after also being overtaken in the closing stages by Sergio Perez; however, the 29-year-old again made it very challenging for the Mexican.

He was also forced to defend from Charles Leclerc in the final few laps, in order to claim a famous podium at the ‘Temple of Speed’.

Had Sainz’s tyres not degraded so quickly then perhaps he would’ve been more of a threat to Red Bull, although he recognises that he was at fault partly for using too much of his tyres defending from Verstappen early on.

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“I felt like I had it fairly under control but then I think around lap 10 to 12, I started feeling the rear-left tyre giving up a lot, a lot earlier than I would have expected,” Sainz said, as reported by

“At that point, I realised I had used my tyres too much and probably to keep Max behind, I had worn that rear-left tyre too much and that I was going to suffer a lot for the rest of the race because it was going to probably make me box early onto a hard tyre.

“And then the second stint was going to be very long.

“It’s exactly what happened and my feeling was correct.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect it to degrade so much but it was clear that I was pushing very, very hard to keep them behind. Probably harder than what I should have done.”