Red Bull ‘was on another planet’ at Spa, says Sainz, as he implores Ferrari to improve for remaining Grands Prix
Carlos Sainz said Ferrari had done everything in their power to compete with Red Bull at Spa-Francorchamps, adding the Scuderia needed to improve their low downforce pace before heading to their home race at Monza in two weeks .
Starting from pole, Sainz led at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix after Max Verstappen’s grid penalties came into effect. But despite the starting championship leader P14, he won by a comfortable margin in a Red Bull one-two that left the Spaniard a distant P3.
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“I don’t think we left anything on the table today,” Sainz said. “We just weren’t strong enough against them; they were on another planet this weekend. They were just strong in qualifying, strong in racing, better in tire management, stronger on the straights, strong in the corners, in some of them, and we weren’t fast enough, unfortunately.
“I think we’d be lying if we didn’t say we’re surprised because the gap was certainly a lot bigger, or the biggest we’ve seen all season between the two teams. And that’s certainly something to which we didn’t expect, which means we have to go back and analyze why we are so weak on this type of track.
“We still have to analyze, draw conclusions and try to come back with a better low downforce package for Monza, in case we are not as strong there as well.”
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Belgian Grand Prix 2022: Verstappen takes the lead on lap 18 ahead of Sainz
Ferrari are now 118 points behind Red Bull heading to Zandvoort, Verstappen’s home race, September 2-4. Sainz, however, closed the gap to teammate Charles Leclerc, who finished sixth in Belgium after a post-race penalty, and the poleman said it was a “decent result” from his side.
READ MORE: Leclerc downgraded to P6 at Spa after speeding penalty in pit lane – and admits title chances ‘starting to look very difficult’
“I was hopeful that six to eight tenths [gap to Verstappen] that we saw in qualifying was going to fall in the race with a hotter track. Maybe it was more optimistic and hopeful about my prospects for the race, but unfortunately, on the contrary, it widened the gap even more and we were slipping even more, we had even less grip and we retreated faster than expected.
“Like I said, we had to take P3 because this weekend there wasn’t much more to do, and we got a decent result.”