‘I’m not going to lie’: Carlos Sainz accuses Ferrari of getting carried away

Ferrari are reportedly set to introduce a range of major upgrades at their home race in Imola to solve their tyre wear woes.

Ahead of the Australian Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz has openly admitted that Ferrari do indeed have several issues to solve in order to challenge Red Bull, whom the Spaniard has labelled as “clearly superior”.

The 2023 F1 season has started badly for Ferrari, with the Italians having already faced power unit gremlins and poor race pace, with Sainz aware that it will “take time” to get on top of every problem.

Ferrari’s biggest issue in regard to race pace is their tyre wear, with both Sainz and Charles Leclerc having struggled compared to the drivers at Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes.

The Spaniard has started the season with a P4 in Bahrain and a P6 in Saudi Arabia, with the hope being that he can claim his best result of the season this weekend at the Albert Park Circuit.

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Melbourne has been a fantastic venue for Ferrari in the past which will likely give Sainz some hope of a good weekend; however, he’s admitted that as it stands the Maranello-based team have a “concept problem”.

“When someone has as much advantage as Red Bull, you have to say it’s a bit of a concept problem,” Sainz said.

“Red Bull got it right and we didn’t. I think we got a bit carried away by last year’s car because it was very fast at one lap.

“But at the end of last year it was already seen that in the race we were one step behind Red Bull – and this year, with the change in regulations, perhaps that has done more damage to our car and we have to start to look the other way.”

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Following Ferrari’s bad start to the season it has been reported that the Italians are set to introduce major upgrades at their home race in Imola, as are Mercedes.

Sainz, though, isn’t too sure that the reports are completely right, given that solving the SF-23’s issues isn’t something that can be done in just a couple of months.

“I don’t know. First you have to analyse it and another thing is to start testing in the wind tunnel, another to start manufacturing the parts and another is to be able to take it to the race,” Sainz said.

“But we are clear that it’s not going to be a solution of one or two races or one or two months. This is going to take time.”

Time is something that Sainz doesn’t really have at Ferrari, given that his contract expires at the end of next season.

He’ll be needing a strong car so that he can convince the Italians to extend his contract, with the SF-23 not being a victory contender.

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Things are so bad at Ferrari that the Spaniard has stated that this season is currently “one of the hardest times” since he made the move to Maranello in 2021, highlighting the mountain the Italians have to climb.

“I’m not going to lie,” Sainz said on Thursday. “Since my arrival in 2021, we have been on an upward trend.

“This year we expected to be at least in a similar position, but unfortunately there is a team called Red Bull that killed the competition with a car that is clearly superior to all the others.”