Formula 1 Racing

Frustrated Sainz says he “cannot push” in races at the moment · RaceFans

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Carlos Sainz Jnr said his Miami Grand Prix was “tough” as he was unable to extract the maximum from his Ferrari without taking too much life out of his tyres.

Having qualified third on the grid, Sainz dropped to fifth place at the chequered flag, losing positions to Max Verstappen and George Russell during the course of the race.

He made an early pit stop to switch from the medium tyre compound to hards, in a bid to overtake Fernando Alonso for second place. However he soon found his tyre performance started to drop off.

“I was a bit surprised with how much we struggled on the hard tyres after our very strong stint on the medium,” he said. “We tried the undercut on Fernando, obviously it worked but it meant pushing the tyres for three or four laps to get the undercut.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Miami International Autodrome, 2023
Sainz tried to undercut Alonso but his tyres couldn’t take it

“For some reason with our car right now we have zero flexibility with how much we can push. I had to stay under the limit for the rest of the race if I wanted to make it to the end. With the wind conditions, how tough we are on tyres, that hard stint just became too long for us.”

“At the moment I cannot push, especially in the race,” he added. “As soon as you push one lap, you do a good first lap, the next lap you are three-tenths slower.”

Although Sainz was able to jump ahead of Alonso thanks to his earlier pit stop, he soon dropped behind the Aston Martin again.

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“We went for the undercut and it worked,” he said. “It’s just that with hindsight, the car that we have right now, we have very little flexibility to try undercuts or overcuts.

“So it’s just more how limited we are. But in terms of strategy it was the right call at the right time. With hindsight, I think we were never going to finish higher than Fernando.”

He admitted he was “surprised” by the problems “because I thought we were making it better.”

“This race kind of showed us that we still have some work to do,” he admitted.

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