Sainz: SF-23 still a “tricky car” in spite of F1 Singapore GP win: “It still has its weaknesses”

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Ferrari’s driver Carlos Sainz’s 2023 Singapore Grand Prix win is the first non-Red Bull win throughout the current season with Verstappen finishing fifth and Perez finishing eighth as a result of the two Red Bulls’ difficulties at Marina Bay.

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

With DRS tricks including helping his old teammate Lando Norris to keep George Russell and the McLaren driver behind plus the pace management, Carlos Sainz did a fantastic ‘smooth operation’ of maintaining his P1 start position until the finish line.

Nevertheless, Sainz believes that Red Bull is still more likely to dominate for the rest of the season because the SF-23’s set-up hasn’t been upgraded to minimize it’s weaknesses yet, and the car is still struggling in some areas which the team needs to work on in order to achieve better race results in the future.

“It obviously gives me a lot of pride on me and the whole team in being able to do so because they were at such a high level that it seemed almost impossible at some stage in the season to beat them.” Sainz said about beating the Red Bulls.

However, the Spanish driver expects Red Bulls to get back on their winning streak because the limitations of the SF-23 are still clear at most venues.

“The car is still not great, in some areas very good in others. There’s certain tracks like Monza and Singapore that the car has adapted very well, other like Zandvoort, Silverstone, that it was ver difficult to drive.” he said.

According to Sainz, Ferrari will keep experimenting with the SF-23 to identify what the car lacks in order to solve the problems and have a better package next year.

“It’s still a tricky car, we’re trying to find the right set-up, the only thing I can say is we’ve been working very hard to find the sweet spot and probably we still haven’t found it yet.

“That’s why every weekend I try something different in the car to try and challenge myself, try and challenge the team, try and challenge the car to put it in a bit of a different place, and it seems to be working.

“And with this, I don’t mean more predictable, just find speed and lap time. It’s true that in the race even in Singapore we were nothing special, with tyre wear, tyre degradation it still has its weaknesses that we need to address,” he added.

Sainz does not believe Ferrari can repeat their accomplishment at the Marina Bay Street Circuit since the car is not yet near the RB19, and he is unsure which track will be a good fit for both Ferrari’s cars.

“I’m not sure. Looking at track characteristics, none of the tracks that are coming are anywhere close to Singapore or Monza, which are probably the two extremes,” Sainz said.

“It’s impossible to tell which tracks are going to suit us. But still, the trend of being quick in qualifying and struggling a bit in the race is always going to be there.”

He was also asked if the closest description of a perfect race weekend for Ferrari is what they accomplished in Singapore, and the Spanish driver heaped praise on the team.

“Yes, and I think we also need to give credit to the team. Okay, I did my job with the DRS and with the pace management, but everything else was executed very, very well.”