Sainz: Ferrari needs 'very big step' with engine for 2021


Ferrari-bound driver Carlos Sainz admits his future team is in dire need of "a very big step" on the engine front, but the Spaniard is confident in the Scuderia's ability to improve its unit.

Sainz was forced to sit out Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix after suffering an exhaust failure on his way to the grid.

The McLaren charger spent the afternoon in his team's garage watching teammate Lando Norris race to seventh, but there's no doubt his attention was equally focused on the dismal performance of Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.

The Italian outfit was on the back foot from the outset at Spa, hampered by a down-on-power engine that was no match for its rivals around the Ardennes circuit's fast sweeps.

Queried after the race on Ferrari's discouraging slump, Sainz acknowledged the team's current plight.

"Clearly Ferrari is the first one that is not happy right now," the Spaniard said. "I think you could see clearly how much they struggled.

"They also had some problems with the overall grip of the car, but in general, I would say that, yes, they need a very big step on the engine coming."

Progress on the engine front - or improvements overall - may be hard to come by for Ferrari given F1's regulation freeze and very limited scope of development for 2021.

But if one team can pull itself out of its decline, it's Ferrari argued Sainz.

"I know how tough it is because it took Renault a few years," he said. "It’s taken Honda quite a long time also.

"But the fact that they are nearly there or at least Renault is nearly there, close to Mercedes, also shows that you can do it.

"For me, if there’s a team with facilities, if there’s a team with resources, if there’s a team with a lot of engine benches to try and improve, that’s Ferrari.

"So I’m sure the now is working flat-out and hopefully by the time I get there they’ve improved a bit and together we can do the next step."

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