Carlos Sainz demands change from Ferrari 2024 F1 car after “headache” SF-23

Carlos Sainz was the only driver outside of the Red Bull duo to win an F1 grand prix last year, but he is demanding improvement from this season’s Ferrari.

Sainz won the Singapore Grand Prix in a reminder of his abilities but he claims that he didn’t enjoy being behind the wheel of the SF-23.

Amid whispers from Italy than this season’s 676 will take a step forward, Sainz has outlined what he wants from the car.

“A lot,” he told AS

“It has been said that it is a car that suits me well, that I like it. 

“Honestly, it has given not only me headaches. 

“My teammate, Ferrari, it is very difficult to understand. 

“I do not enjoying driving it, I have had to adapt to many things and I have had to try many set-up things. 

“I hope that in 2024 it will be more versatile and easier to carry and tune up. That we have a better racing car.”

Ferrari reportedly hit the weight limit of 798kg for their 2024 F1 car, a key milestone in development for technical director Enrico Cardile.

The Italian brand found itself 6kg over the limit, this time last year.

So there is optimism seeping out of Maranello, in what will be team principal Fred Vasseur’s second full season in charge.

Sainz was asked if Ferrari are heading in the right direction overall, and he replied: “I think so. 

“This second half of the season proves it.

“We set ourselves the goal of maximising the car we had. 

“We made fewer mistakes and a lot of things happened outside of our control.

“But we managed to maximise the weekend and get the performance out of the car quite well.”

Sainz’s season could have been even better - he was hit with a five-second time penalty in Australia, for clashing with Fernando Alonso at a restart, which dropped him from P4 to P12.

And more astonishingly he was handed a 10-place grid penalty in Las Vegas through no fault of his own, after he wrecked his Ferrari by driving by hitting a loose, metal drain cover. It caused practice to be cancelled and Ferrari had no choice but to replace his energy store, exceeding his quota.

Sainz finished seventh in the F1 driver standings, his teammate Charles Leclerc was fifth, and Ferrari were third in the constructors’ championship after losing out at the final hurdle to Mercedes.

The Scuderia have not delivered a drivers’ F1 champion since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

Talk of the title might seem farfetched ahead of the 2024 season but there is the feeling that Ferrari are getting their act together.

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