Carlos Sainz Jr. credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Formula 1 News: Out of job Sainz denies suddenly surging in form

(GMM) Soon to be out of a drive, Carlos Sainz Jr. has hit back at the notion that his form as a driver has drastically improved in 2024, just as Ferrari also ended its habit of getting race strategies badly wrong compared to a year ago.

Charles Leclerc (R) and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Charles Leclerc (R) is being thoroughly schooled by and Carlos Sainz Jr. (L) in 2024 Photo supplied by Ferrari

Last year, post-race internet memes constantly poked fun at Ferrari’s often disastrously-botched race strategies.

And Sainz, on the other hand, is now seen by some as having radically improved his pace in the cockpit just as Ferrari decided to oust him for 2025 and he shops around for an alternative.

The Spaniard says both of those perceptions are simply wrong.

“We just simply improved the car,” the 29-year-old insists. “The reality is just in Formula 1, the car is very important.

“Yes, I’m driving at a high level, but at the same time, having a car that just allows you to go a bit longer, allows you to be a bit closer in dirty air and play around a bit more with strategy, just allows you to shine a bit more.

“Last year in the races, we looked like we were always going backwards – always defending. But we were terrible with tire management. It’s a completely different picture now.

“We’ve improved everywhere,” Sainz added, “but especially in race pace. It allows us to have more strategic flexibility. It allows me to go forward in the races instead of looking in my mirrors all the time.”

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24, leaves the pit lane during the Japanese GP at Suzuka on Friday April 05, 2024 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

However, he does admit that Ferrari has also upped its game in other areas apart from pace and tire management – including coming up with the right strategies.

“But if you see a jump this year on strategy, it’s purely down to the car,” said Sainz. “Last year, we were boxed in to stop at certain laps. We couldn’t extend because we had so much (tire) deg. We just couldn’t do anything.”

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