In the 2023 Formula 1 season, Carlos Sainz asserts his dominance as Ferrari's formidable adversary to Red Bull.

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In the 2023 Formula 1 season, Carlos Sainz asserts his dominance as Ferrari’s formidable adversary to Red Bull.

In the 2023 Formula 1 season, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz has boldly taken on the task of unseating Red Bull’s supremacy, injecting an unexpected twist into the championship race.

With a staggering streak of 15 consecutive victories, Red Bull seemed unbeatable. However, Sainz, once a Red Bull Junior Driver, emerged as the unlikely hero to shatter this formidable run.

Sainz’s recent triumph in Singapore, marking only his second Grand Prix victory, was the result of meticulous preparation and unwavering dedication. Ferrari’s team principal, Frederic Vasseur, praised Sainz’s newfound form, noting his significant improvement since his podium finish at Monza.

When asked about his confidence for the rest of the 2023 season, Sainz shared, “I feel very comfortable in the car, driving at my best, perhaps the best I’ve been since joining Ferrari. I’m finally unlocking my full potential.”

To understand Ferrari’s recent resurgence, one must harken back to the Zandvoort race, where the team undertook extensive setup work to unravel the mysteries of the ‘peaky’ SF-23 on high-downforce circuits. Both Sainz and Leclerc expressed concerns about the car’s unpredictability in high-speed corners, which was affecting their race performance.

Through a careful compromise between aero balance and understeer issues, the team found a setup sweet spot that capitalized on the SF-23’s strengths. Sainz’s meticulous approach and collaboration with his engineers played a pivotal role in perfecting his race weekend strategy.

Sainz explained, “Before the summer break, there was already a decent feeling with everything. I sat down with my engineers during the break and we said, ‘Okay, what can we do to put together a solid weekend?'”

While Ferrari has made significant progress, they have yet to consistently challenge Red Bull, as seen in their recent performance at Suzuka. Despite concerns about tire degradation, Sainz chose to stay out, ultimately conceding to Lewis Hamilton due to the undercut.

Sainz’s surge in form has also put pressure on his teammate, Charles Leclerc, who faced a challenging start to the season marked by mistakes. Leclerc acknowledged Sainz’s exceptional performance, saying, “Carlos in Monza and Singapore has been completely on it. He’s been very, very strong.”

Leclerc added, “It’s great to have him in such good form because it motivates me to understand my driving style better and adapt it to the car. I’m not entirely comfortable with the car at the moment; there’s a bit too much understeer for my liking.”

Currently trailing Sainz by 15 points in the Drivers’ Championship, Leclerc aims to close the gap while Ferrari strives to narrow the 20-point deficit to Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship.

As tensions simmer at Mercedes, Sainz’s outstanding form and Leclerc’s determination to match him could position Ferrari to finish ahead of the Silver Arrows. Furthermore, Sainz’s resurgence presents an opportunity to establish himself as Ferrari’s leading driver, paving the way for their challenge against Red Bull in 2024.

The upcoming Qatar Grand Prix, scheduled for October 6-8, promises to inject even more excitement into the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The Losail International Circuit, situated just outside Doha, will host the 17th race of the season, where Sainz and Ferrari will strive to maintain their impressive form and challenge Red Bull’s dominance.

Reference

https://www.planetsport.com/motorsport/news/f1-carlos-sainz-emerges-as-ferraris-red-bull-slayer-in-2023-formula-1-season

https://www.si.com/racing/2023/03/02/ferrari-charles-leclerc-carlos-sainz-chase-down-red-bull

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