SportF1Sainz: "The objective is not to delay Verstappen's title,...

Sainz: "The objective is not to delay Verstappen's title, it is to win"

Despite the fact that up to July he had achieved four victories, Ferrari has gone six races without winning, which has left him without options in both the constructors’ and drivers’ world championships, which can be defined as early as this Sunday.

In the recent Singapore GP, the Cavallino ‘s men showed signs of improvement, but they couldn’t prevent Sergio Pérez from winning either, and they arrive in Japan with the hope of returning to winning ways.

Carlos Sainz points out the importance of returning to first place to start 2023 in high spirits, after a year 2022 that has been largely disappointing for the tifosi.

“I think there’s an interesting fight and we’re still up there,” he said on Thursday ahead of the Japanese GP. “Our goal as a team is obviously to win races and prepare well for next season because obviously this year being champions is too difficult for both constructors and drivers, so we are focused on trying to win races.”

After Red Bull seemed unbeatable after the summer break, Sainz believes that Ferrari is getting closer to a weekend that will allow it to return to the top step of the podium: “We know that we were very far off the pace in Zandvoort and in Spa , we were a bit quicker at Monza, and Singapore was already better, we were closer to Red Bull.”

“The goal is to have a weekend where we can be faster in qualifying and in the race, and that’s the biggest challenge for us. That would give us a race win, which we miss so much, and it would be ideal. before the end of the season.”

Despite the good taste in the mouth left by the pace of the Ferrari F1-75, Sainz admits that being second and third is not consoling: “In Singapore we scored a good handful of points. Here it is only worth winning”.

“I think that winning a race before the end of the season would give us a very good feeling and motivation for next year, because it’s been a while since our last win and yes, winning would mean having a perfect weekend, which I also think is what we need”.

After adapting well to a circuit like Singapore’s Marina Bay, there is uncertainty as to whether the Ferrari also performs at Suzuka. When the man from Madrid was asked if the Japanese track would benefit him, he replied: “The long straights, but also the good medium and high-speed corners, are the ones that suit the Ferrari. Our car is fast almost everywhere, you just have to Compare it to Red Bull to see where we are.

A fastest lap win would mathematically give Max Verstappen the 2022 F1 title, although the Dutchman can still be crowned even without a podium finish. Sainz wants to win and delay the ‘alirón’, but clarifies that the real objective is not that.

“We will try to win here and keep delaying his championship. But because we want to win every race and we haven’t done it for a long time. We know he is going to be champion one day, sooner rather than later, but at least we want to keep winning races for Ferrari, for our prospects also for next year”.

“The goal is not to postpone his title, but to win a race, and if winning a race postpones the title, we know he’s going to get it sooner or later. What we want is to win races, prepare for next year, keep learning, keep leading perfect weekends where confidence is built and more victories are achieved”.

When asked if the current situation of the season (Red Bull leads Ferrari by 137 points in the 2022 constructors’ championship) was due more to the advance of the Austrians or to failures by the Italians, he replied: “If I knew, I would already have the solution. I think for a whole year of F1 it’s usually a combination of both, but mainly Red Bull has moved on and we’ve obviously tried to keep up with them in development.”

“They have developed the car a lot, more than we expected under the budget cap situation. They have developed incredibly quickly. We try to keep up with them, but sometimes it is difficult.”

And that answer ended up in the topic of the moment, in the budget limit that Red Bull allegedly would have skipped and that will be confirmed or denied on Monday.

“I have no idea…” Sainz said when asked what punishment should be imposed for exceeding the spending limit. “It is the FIA that should dictate what they think are the rules and a set of penalties depending on how far you go over the budget limit.”

“I have no idea if Red Bull has skipped it, I just hope that if they have, they get a sanction commensurate with the offence. We all know how important development is in F1, it’s everything, it’s at the core of F1, so if you break that rule it is clear that there has to be a high penalty. But to be honest, I have not read the FIA regulations, “he concluded.

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