Australian GP | Carlos Sainz’ P5 not a true testament of abilities: “We could’ve been top three”

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Photo: Scuderia Ferrari

Carlos Sainz’ qualifying leaves a small, bitter pill to swallow as the Spaniard qualified P5 with a 1.17.270, two places ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc but behind both the Mercedes. However, Sainz stresses that had luck been on their side, both Ferrari’s would be occupying a place in the top three.

Sainz said: “I am on one hand very happy, and another hand a bit unhappy.

“We had a bit of a bad preparation lap in the (final) lap with tyre temperatures, We let by two or three cars we thought were on a push lap.

“I had to slow to let them by and they slowed me because they were not on a lap.

“I lost two, three tenths in sector one for tyre prep, I had to risk a lot in sector two and three and picked up the pace.”

This created some friction between the teammates following a period of miscommunication, for which Leclerc ‘thanked’ Sainz for after the race.

Given the surprising emergence of the Aston Martin this season, Ferrari have gone from chasing top spot of the constructor’s championship, to trying to break into the top three. Team Principal, Frederic Vasseur announced that SF-23 upgrades for Melbourne were put on hold in a bid to test the direction of the car is headed in the right direction – towards the front of the grid.

When asked about the car, Sainz said: “I am a lot happier with the car, I’ve done some strong laps, I’ve been pushing quite hard.

“The changes we’ve made are focused on tomorrow, so that’s why today doesn’t look particularly good.

“The changes we have done should go in the right direction for tomorrow.”

The Spaniard outqualifies his teammate for only the sixteenth time since joining the Maranello outfit in 2021 and will hope to expand on his points scoring streak this weekend, where a points finish will extend his streak of five, having scored points in every race since Mexico last year.