Sainz: Ferrari's Imola upgrades 'meeting expectations', not the hype


Carlos Sainz says Ferrari’s upgrades for Imola were never going to be the game changer many anticipated, but the Spaniard assured the package “worked exactly as we expected”.

The Italian outfit’s changes – the purpose of which were to improve overall aero efficiency – included updated front and rear wings, tweaks to the SF-24’s sidepods and engine cover and a modified floor and rear diffuser.

Following McLaren's impressive performance boost in Miami with their own upgrades, hopes soared ahead of this weekend’s event that Ferrari might also finally challenge Red Bull for race supremacy.

However, qualifying results fell short of those dreams, with Charles Leclerc and Sainz clocking in behind poleman Max Verstappen and both McLaren drivers, respectively 0.224s and 0.487s adrift from the Dutchman.

After Saturday’s shootout, Sainz was quick to dispel the “out of reality” expectations that may have swirled among the Tifosi.

"It's worked exactly as we expected," the Spaniard said. "For some reason everyone expected us to be flying this weekend with the new package.

"I've been seeing numbers of our package going around that were completely out of reality.


"Nowadays, already to bring a tenth is a good job by your team. I'm not saying we've brought one, two or half a tenth, but not the numbers people were mentioning.

"With that in mind, it was always going to be difficult to take a jump this weekend because people are also upgrading their cars."

While Sainz acknowledged that it was “always going to be difficult to beat McLaren around here” due to Imola’s configuration, he was also surprised by Ferrari’s deficit in Sector 1 this weekend, admitting that it was "puzzling how we can be four tenths down in one sector."

Leclerc was also taken aback by the SF-24’s shortfall through Tamburello, although the car’s struggles through lower speed corners this season are nothing new.

"We don't understand what we are missing there [at Tamburello]," said the Monegasque.

"We tried many things but it's always the same corners that penalise us. It's something we know and work on, it's not something we discover now.

"We know a strong point of the Red Bulls is how far they can go on the kerbs. I tried to take the kerbs, but with our car, we can't do the same thing right now."

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