Sainz 'not very happy' with Ferrari 'inconsistencies’ at Imola

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Carlos Sainz admitting to enduring an unenjoyable Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola, highlighting the inconsistencies of his Ferrari car that hindered his efforts.

The Spaniard had qualified fourth for Sunday’s 63-lap race and held his own after the start, briefly inheriting the lead ahead of his first pit stop on lap 27 and switch from the medium to the hard tyre.

Unfortunately, Sainz was undercut by McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, although he did get the measure of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to secure a fifth-place finish at the end of the day.

The Scuderia charger pointed to niggling deployment issues but especially to his SF-24’s crucial lack of pace that transformed his afternoon into a “damage limitation” exercise.

“Today, simply, we were lacking quite a lot of pace,” he explained. “Not very happy because I'm pretty sure after quali yesterday, we saw something in the car that might not have been working as expected.

“We also had some issues with deployment, so today was a bit of [a] damage limitation race for me after what we saw yesterday.

“Honestly, not happy because we've been all weekend lagging a bit and a bit behind - a couple of tenths too slow, which is not ideal. Having said that, P5 and the race how it went - it's not like much happened.”

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In a race in which Charles Leclerc delivered to Ferrari its first podium at Imola since Michael Schumacher’s win at the venue in 2006, Sainz had initially planned to run an extended first stint in a bid to catch up with his team mate and fend off Piastri’s attacks.

But circumstances and a looming Mercedes threat behind Sainz compelled the team’s strategists to pit the Spaniard just three laps after the McLaren driver, a move that didn’t pay off.

"Some issues during the whole race that was holding me back, especially in the first stint, so something to look at,” continued Sainz.

“[It was] a struggling race that I didn't enjoy at all with inconsistencies on the car side, I was struggling a lot out there."

The 29-year-old clarified that his grievances were not related to the many updates implemented by Ferrari at Imola.

“No, they’re not from the upgrades,” he said. “It’s something that we need to investigate carefully and I’m pretty sure we will find a solution.

“The only thing I would say is that when the field is so tight, one-two-tenths between the top five drivers, every single thing counts and I feel like this weekend we didn’t put together the best of packages and now we need to focus on putting that in Monaco.”


Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur admitted that neither Leclerc nor Sainz had enjoyed an optimal weekend, but neither had their rivals he noted.

“Every single bit that you can have in this kind of weekend, when you are five or six [drivers] in two-tenths, for sure every single issue that you can have is crucial,” Vasseur said.

“But I think everybody had issues. I think nobody after the quali lap said, ‘I had the lap of my life and I had no issues and the balance was perfect’.

“And so it’s not good to have issues, but it’s good to understand what’s happened and when we have to work. And we will do it for next week.”

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