“Something that we need to investigate carefully” — Sainz says he was suffering from aero and deployment issues during F1 Imola GP

Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
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Carlos Sainz’s weekend at Imola began with challenges at Saturday’s qualifying session, and despite his best efforts, he struggled to find pace throughout the entirety of the weekend and found himself grappling with issues that hindered his performance.

Citing gremlins with his SF-24, he expressed frustration over the unexpected setbacks on home soil. He finished two places and nearly 15s behind Leclerc as he could not get the car to work like he wants.

“Today simply we were lacking quite a lot of pace.”

The Ferrari driver was “not very happy” as he explained that after the qualifying session on Saturday, where Sainz qualified in fourth ahead of the race, he said the team found something on the car. 

“I’m pretty sure […] after quali we saw something on the car that might not have been working as expected.

“I also struggled and had a few issues today with the deployment, so in general just things didn’t go well today which obviously at a home race with a team I’m not happy with.”

Losing a place from his starting spot, Sainz found himself finishing in fifth, noting that he couldn’t push as aggressively in the race as he was nursing various issues with the car.

The Spaniard was undercut by Oscar Piastri and could not make any inroads in the hard tyre stint.

“Today was a bit of a damage limitation race for me after what we saw yesterday. Honestly not happy because all weekend we’ve been lacking a little bit.

“A bit behind, a couple of tenths too slow which is not ideal.”

Expanding on the issues, the 29-year-old explained he had aero problems as well, meaning he fell away from Charles Leclerc in the opening stint.

“Something on the aero side we need to look into. Also with the deployment.

“Some issues during the whole race that was holding me back, especially in the first stint. Something to look at.

He confirmed the aero issue was not related to Ferrari’s updated Imola package.

“I think it’s more a different thing. But I cannot go into detail like always.”

Despite issues with his SF-24, he noted that race pace isn’t an issue for the team overall, confirmed by teammate Charles Leclerc finishing the GP in third, less than 8s away from the win.

“It looks like for Charles everything went as expected and the race pace was good. So, it’s all about who starts in front. So, we need to find ways to start further up front.”

Speaking about the updates the team made to the car, and the increase in pace that Carlos noted at the beginning of the weekend, he said, I think something was not quite there today” whilst insisting that his issues this weekend were not due to the upgrades.

“It’s just something that we need to investigate carefully… I’m pretty sure we will find the solution.”

Sainz noted the significance of fine-tuning the car’s set-up to remain competitive when the margins are so tight between the top three teams.

“When the field is so tight, one, two tenths between the top five drivers, you know, every single thing counts.

“I feel like this weekend, we didn’t put together the best of packages.”

While the podium may have eluded him on this occasion, Sainz finished solidly in the points and is sure that the team can fix any existing problems for Monaco next weekend.

“I’m sure we will turn it around for Monaco. 

“We will find a couple of issues here and there that were holding us back today and we’ll be back on the pace.”