Carlos Sainz says a meeting with Ferrari's engineers during F1's summer break proved critical in uplifting his form across the entire race weekend.
Sainz's second career win in F1 last weekend in Singapore reflected a newfound strength and consistency on the Spaniard's side of the Scuderia's garage.
Sainz's remarkable victory was built on an equally impressive performance in qualifying on Saturday that saw the 29-year-old claim his second consecutive pole after Monza.
When asked after his win in the Singapore Grand Prix where his solid form and consistency of late had come from, the Ferrari charger credited a meeting with his engineers that took place during the sport's summer break as a turning point in his 2023 season.
"I think in terms of car and driving understanding, I think before the summer break there was this already decent feeling with everything," he explained.
"I just sat down with my engineers in the summer break and we said okay, what can we do to start putting the whole weekend together, because clearly we have a lot of pace, we were doing some good things but we are never putting the whole thing together.
"So let’s see what we can do to improve that and start having consistent performances in the second half, because the potential is clearly there this year."
In Zandvoort, the first race after F1's hiatus, Saizn qualified sixth - three spots ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc - and finished fifth. And he obviously also outpaced the Monegasque on Saturdays in Monza and in Marina Bay.
Sainz felt proud seeing his hard work away from the track with his engineers come to fruition.
"Yeah, Zandvoort was a very good weekend, Monza was almost perfect and here I feel like it was the perfect one.
"Makes me very happy and proud that when you work, you analyse, and you also have the speed like I’ve had this weekend.
"It is it is always paying off and now we managed to put everything together and, yeah, very happy for the engineers, for the mechanics, the team, everyone."
A pair of pole positions and an outright win will provide Sainz with a lot of confidence in F1's upcoming races. But the Spaniard is taking a cautious approach to this week's race in Japan.
"We’ve had two great weekends in a row, but I think the two tracks that we’ve been to have suited our car," he said. "In particularly this one, a high downforce track.
"I’m incredibly proud of the effort that the team has done to bring a much better high downforce package here and be much more competitive than in Zandvoort – but I still think there’s going to be tough weekends out there where we’re not going to be fighting for podiums, and we’re going to get P5s, P6s.
"We just need to make sure we keep getting those if that’s the maximum that the team and the car can do those weekends.
"But what I’m more proud of is that we had one chance to win this year, and the team under pressure responded.
"I also responded and we managed to put together a perfect weekend in the one chance that the Red Bull and the situation gave us, and the speaks well of the progress that Ferrari is doing, we are doing in terms of race execution."