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The SF-23: A Formula of Perplexities and Discontinuity
Racing Prowess Meets Tyre Troubles
Throughout the qualifying rounds, the SF-23 exhibited its competitive edge, securing an impressive seven grand prix pole positions with the dynamic duo of Sainz and Leclerc at the helm. However, this one-lap success was not without its complications.
While Red Bull prioritized race pace to gain a longer-lasting advantage, Ferrari found themselves struggling to manage their tyres effectively. The pressure eased on them as they grappled with this challenge.
In order for Ferrari to truly shine, Sainz believes that unlocking the potential of their Pirelli tires should be their main focus. Nevertheless, he acknowledges certain attributes from the outgoing car that ought to be retained in future endeavors – namely straight-line speed, braking performance, and excellence in short-duration corners.
A Balancing Act for Success
Sainz is aware that sacrifices may have to be made in order for Ferrari to make significant progress overall and fulfill their “realistic aim” of challenging Red Bull. While acknowledging the strengths of these aforementioned traits possessed by the SF-23 car model, he emphasizes that it may require compromising some of these qualities in order for Ferrari to excel across various terrains throughout a racing season.
The Race Pace Predicament
Sainz highlights how crucial it is for Ferrari’s performance during races – a domain where they struggled compared to rivals like Red Bull and McLaren in circuits such as Brazil and Austin -to improve significantly. Understanding what affects tire behavior and overall race performance is paramount in their pursuit of supremacy.
Reflecting on the competition that awaits them, Sainz asserts that challenging the reigning constructors’ champion Red Bull right from the start of the 2024 season should be considered a realistic goal. While only time will determine whether this aim can be achieved, he believes wholeheartedly that Ferrari possesses all necessary capabilities to achieve such a feat during an off-season break.
The Trust in Ferrari’s Potential
Sainz expresses his unwavering trust in Ferrari as a team and its ability to turn things around through sheer determination and hard work. Furthermore, he points out that there are instances where they have outperformed Red Bull by securing pole positions with a remarkable lead of 0.3 seconds.
However, it is vital for Ferrari to transform these exceptional traits into an all-round performance capability across various racing conditions – making them truly unstoppable on any track.