The forgotten part of Ferrari’s failed F1 title bid

The usual subject of focus in Ferrari’s wasteful 2022 Formula 1 season has been Charles Leclerc. So, spare a thought for the forgotten failed Ferrari title bid: Carlos Sainz’s.

Sainz has only won once this season, in Britain where he scored an unexpected pole position and then benefitted as Leclerc’s victory bid was wrecked by Ferrari’s strategic choice. He’s more than 100 points behind Max Verstappen and actually trails a Mercedes driver in the championship.

So, to suggest he is a lost title contender might be a stretch. But like Leclerc, Sainz has a frighteningly large tally of missed opportunities.

The forgotten part of Ferrari’s failed F1 title bid

A conservative estimate would be around 71 points dropped: 18 in Australia (car problem in qualifying and a mistake early in the race from Sainz), 19 at Imola (a mistake in qualifying and a blameless first corner incident in the grand prix), 13 in Spain (where Sainz could have won had he not spun early on), 12 in Azerbaijan (engine failure), 18 in Austria (engine failure) and eight in France (started from the back after a grid penalty).

“I had momentum after coming from fighting for the win in Canada, winning in Silverstone, fighting for the win again in in Austria and being in the mix for a few races and actually getting a lot of points,” Sainz said during the French Grand Prix weekend.

“I’m feeling like I was getting my championship hopes back up. And suddenly the zero [in Austria] doesn’t come at a very good time.”

Even with all those missing points, Sainz would still be some way behind Verstappen. The reality is he’s not won enough grands prix. But he’d be on the periphery and probably would be justified to go into the second half of the season considering himself an outsider for the title but at least a legitimate contender.

After just a few races this year, that prospect never looked likely. Not because of points deficits but because his start to the season was blighted by an obvious performance gap to Leclerc and a burst of mistakes across qualifying and the races in Australia, Imola and Spain.

Sainz had a super-impressive first year with Ferrari in 2021. He gelled with the car quickly – much quicker than any other prominent driver to have switched teams – and performed consistently. The minor pace deficit he had to Leclerc was more than respectable and he finished the higher Ferrari driver in the championship.

The forgotten part of Ferrari’s failed F1 title bid

So, it was a shame, and a bit of a surprise, to see how much he slipped back at the start of 2022. There was an undeniable gap between the two drivers (just over two tenths of a second on average in the first few qualifying sessions) but more worrying was how uncomfortable Sainz looked even getting that close.

The Ferrari F1-75 has a degree of rear instability that Leclerc has thrived with, but Sainz struggled to handle on the limit. He was prone to mistakes in the early races and often seemed baffled by them. Sainz never really made excuses, he just never had an explanation – losing the rear repeatedly took him completely by surprise.

It always seemed likely that Sainz would get on top of this. He certainly had the credentials to. An ability to learn and improve has been a key trait throughout his career. It’s what turned him from an increasingly impressive prospect in his junior days into one of the stars of the F1 midfield and a driver worthy of a Ferrari move.

Since Sainz’s season hit a low point at Barcelona, his home race of all places, he has dug deep and improved once again.

“I keep finding things,” he says. “I keep finding little things since Barcelona – that was probably my lowest point of the season.

“Monaco, Baku, Canada, I was up there fighting for the win. Silverstone won. Austria on pace it was neck and neck with Charles.

“It just shows that the progress is paying off. And yeah, I’m getting there.”

The forgotten part of Ferrari’s failed F1 title bid

The trend since Monaco is clear when looking at a comparison of dry qualifying sessions (and eliminating outliers like Sainz’s problem in Australia, his crash at Imola, and the sessions Canada and France as Leclerc and Sainz had a grid penalty at those races respectively so didn’t contest qualifying properly). Azerbaijan should have been more in the region of Austria but Sainz made a mistake on his second run in Q3 having topped the time after the first flying laps.

So while Sainz sounds cavalier in declaring things like “we can win every single race that we go to if we nail it”, that’s no longer a Ferrari ‘we’ – OK, Leclerc’s probably going to start each weekend as the favourite, but Sainz shouldn’t be as easily discounted as he was in the first part of the season.

The forgotten part of Ferrari’s failed F1 title bid

Exactly how Sainz has made this progress is something he doesn’t want to divulge. For now it has to be vaguely put down to his work ethic and intelligence and the support from the team.

What we know for sure with Sainz is there’s always a method. And we can see the proof of it, even if we don’t know exactly what it is. The Sainz from early in the year probably wouldn’t have won the British GP.

“Just not having the question of ‘when are you going to win?’ was the biggest thing!” Sainz laughed about ticking off the major milestone of a first grand prix victory.

“But I was pretty clear in my mind that that moment was going to come sooner or later. I had been close a couple of times before and this year and I kept believing that it was going to happen.

“It didn’t relieve any sort of stress or anything else because in Austria I felt very similar to any other race weekend. But it keeps giving me the feeling that I’m closer and closer every time this year.”

Sainz is a great example of a driver who focuses on the process rather than the outcome.

Whenever he is asked about longer-term issues like if or when Ferrari might enforce team orders, or championship prospects, he finds it easy to shove such thoughts aside.

The forgotten part of Ferrari’s failed F1 title bid

His mindset is simple. There’s a big chunk of season left. His performances are on a good trajectory. He can win more races. Why complicate things beyond that?

Ferrari has observed Sainz’s increasing confidence in the car as the season has progressed and team boss Mattia Binotto summed up his driver quite nicely after the win at Silverstone: “Maybe he has not been the fastest in those two days, but that is his strength, always trying to optimise being there when the opportunity comes.”

That strength characterised Sainz’s first season with Ferrari and all he cared about during his weaker days in 2022 was getting back to that level.

There are clear indications that has been achieved and that Sainz can attack the rest of the season with a great deal more confidence than he started it.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

This Sports Sedan Is the Only Top Safety Pick of Its Kind

No shortage of sedans earned a Top Safety Pick rating or other safety accolades from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, it’s rare for a sports sedan to ... Read more »

Road & Track Showed Out at Our Motorsports Cars and Coffee

If you weren't at the Car Lofts in Kingsbridge, New Jersey last weekend, you missed out (on an extraordinary Spyker!). Read more »

BIDIRECTIONAL Act introduced in US Senate to promote electric school buses feeding grid

A new bill introduced Friday by US Senator Angus King of Maine could unlock the true potential of electric school buses and provide stability to communities in need. The BIDIRECTIONAL ... Read more »

2022 Audi Q4 e-tron Doesn’t Push the EV Envelope

If, as we’re repeatedly told, electric vehicles become the norm, then how weird should EVs try to be? Right now, they’re still a novelty, so we kind of expect some ... Read more »

Could offshore wind sites host edible seaweed farms? The Swedes think so

Stockholm-headquartered renewable energy developer OX2 has signed letters of intent with Swedish edible seaweed companies Nordic SeaFarm and KOBB to explore the possibility of seaweed farming at one of OX2’s offshore ... Read more »

Nemechek Leads KBM 1-2 At Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. — John Hunter Nemechek won the pole for Saturday’s 17th annual Silverado 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race during qualifying Friday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Driving the ... Read more »

Heinrich Grabs Atlanta Porsche Cup Prize

BRASELTON, Ga. — Porsche Junior driver Laurin Heinrich concluded his North American debut with a victory in the 311RS Motorsports No. 12 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. It was the young ... Read more »

Shelby GT500 Thief Runs Out Of Gas, Dies

This was certainly a strange twist of events… We’ve seen a lot of weird car theft stories, but this one out of San Mateo, California is one of the more ... Read more »

ENRIGHT: The trouble with buying and selling used cars in 2022

How would you like to earn an easy hundred grand? Simply subscribe to my newsletter and I’ll show you how! Alternatively, just buy a Ferrari 550 Maranello in the UK ... Read more »

The car brands with the longest warranties and capped-price servicing period

In a market as small as Australia’s, where we ‘only’ see around 1 million new car sales each year, car brands will quickly follow each other – and one-up each other ... Read more »

Mercedes-Benz Reveals 2022 League of Legends Virtual Concept Car

At the 2022 League of Legends World Championship, Mercedes-Benz has just unveiled its virtual concept car. The event is going on now at Arena Esports Stadium at Artz Pedregal in ... Read more »

This Rider Is Attempting To Go Around The World On A Zero SR/F

Marc Travels Going Round The World On A Zero SR/F Adventure is where you find it–no extra charge. If you’re interested in electric motorcycles and/or technology, it’s an interesting time ... Read more »

Pole for Blomqvist and Meyer-Shank Acura for Petit Le Mans

#60: Meyer Shank Racing W/Curb-Agajanian, Acura DPi, DPi: Oliver Jarvis, Tom Blomqvist, Helio Castroneves Tom Blomqvist took pole for the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship’s season finale, Petit Le Mans at ... Read more »

1954 Dodge Military Truck Gets New Life As Rustic, Heavy-Duty Camper

1954 Dodge M152 Military Truck Camper It’s all about simplicity. This 1954 Dodge M152 once served as a command truck for the Canadian Armed Forces. Rich found it derelict in ... Read more »

Concussion Symptoms Sideline Alex Bowman for Talladega NASCAR Playoff Race

Bowman is the latest to miss time after a crash in a Next Gen car that has produced a worrying number of concussions in its first season. Read more »

Rambler Vehicles' custom 79 Series LandCruiser

Brad Russell, the owner of this neat-as-a-pin Midnight Blue 79 Series LandCruiser, is a bit of an adventurer it seems. He’s worked in the four-wheel drive industry for more than ... Read more »

Castlemaine Rod Shop custom bolt-in nine-inch diff build

Ford nine-inch diffs have long been the go-to third member for street machiners. Back in the day, if you wanted to put a nine-inch under your car, you had to ... Read more »

Does the 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Have Android Auto?

The 2023 Jeep Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer represent a certain rebirth of the famous and popular Jeep nameplate. But now, it’s coming on stage as a luxury contender, packed with amenities ... Read more »

2023 Toyota Camry Beats 2023 Nissan Altima in Multiple Ways

Are you shopping around for a high-quality midsize sedan? Two solid choices are the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima. Find out how they compare in this 2023 Toyota Camry ... Read more »

There Is 1 Costly Mistake That Every First-Time Car Buyer Should Know About

Doing a lot of research before buying your first car is crucial for getting the best deal possible. Of course, in today’s market, anything at or around MSRP is a ... Read more »

Energica Rider Successfully Hits 4 Corners Of The U.K. In Under 4 Days

Energica Eva Ribelle RS – On Way to John O’Groats He slept like the dead when he got home, but he did it. In 2022, U.K. rider, YouTuber, and podcast ... Read more »

3 Things That Will Make or Break IMSA WeatherTech Petit Le Mans

Plenty of classes up for grabs at Road Atlanta. Read more »

Toyota, Lexus Extend Connected Services Trials to 10 Years

Photo: Toyota Connected services in cars and via mobile apps are rapidly spreading across the auto industry. Many customers love them—until the free trials end and they have to start ... Read more »

RAY MASSEY: Vauxhall launches an electrifying new sub-range - with a pair of Astras as its first incarnation

Vauxhall has launched an electrifying new sub-range — with a pair of Astras as its first incarnation. A new hot hatchback and sports tourer estate are petrol-electric plug-in hybrids (PHEV), ... Read more »

Do You Actually Need Antifreeze to Winterize an RV?

Everyone has a mental checklist when the cold winter months start to approach. You might need to close your backyard pool or buy road salt. For some, winterizing an RV ... Read more »

The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid Is the Ford Maverick of Compact SUVs

Are you interested in buying a new compact SUV? One interesting choice is the 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid. Small crossovers like the Niro have become more popular for their spacious ... Read more »

BMW Motorrad USA Showcases 2023 S 1000 RR

BMW may best be known for their cars, but their Motorrad motorcycle brand is just as recognizable in the two wheelin’ world. Their lineup of bikes has now grown thanks ... Read more »

2023 Husqvarna EE 3 Joins Electric Mini Motocross Lineup

2023 Husqvarna EE 3 and EE 5 – Main An entry-level counterpart to the brand’s EE 5. The transportation landscape continues to evolve as more and more electric vehicles hit ... Read more »

Provisional 2023 MotoGP Calendar Includes Record-Setting 21 Races

Provisional 2023 MotoGP Calendar Visiting India and Kazakhstan for the first time. From year to year, the MotoGP calendar only undergoes modest modifications. Age-old traditions and multi-year contracts play a ... Read more »

Hero MotoCorp Invests $60M in California-Based Zero Motorcycles

Hero Zero Partnership Hero goes to Zero for premium electric motorcycle guidance. Thanks to its size and power, India’s Hero MotoCorp can throw its weight around in the motorcycle and ... Read more »

2023 Kawasaki Z H2 And H2 SE Supercharge Their Way Into Next Year In Europe

2023 Kawasaki Z H2 SE 13 Your favorite rumbly friend sounds just as good as you remember. Heading into spooky season, Kawasaki announced that the 2023 Z H2 and H2 ... Read more »

2023 Subaru Forester Starts At $27,620, All Trims Cost $1,300 More

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness Edition First Drive Review The 2023 Forester starts arriving at dealers in December. The Subaru Forester received a design and technology refresh for the 2022 model ... Read more »

C7 Corvette Blacks Out For Police Chase

C7 Corvette Blacks Out For Police Chase But did he really get away? Some gearheads get a kick out of smoking cops with their modified ride, like it’s a victory ... Read more »

Why Is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid so Popular?

Toyota is no stranger to hybrid technology. The Japanese automaker has been dabbling in hybrid tech for decades. Toyota will eventually produce an entire portfolio of battery electric vehicles. Before ... Read more »

The 2022 Ford F-150 Is A Big Deal For Short Drivers

Full-size pickup trucks, like the 2022 Ford F-150, deliver an upright seating posture with a high vantage point and increased visibility. While the improved visibility is an advantage, it often ... Read more »

Why It Matters That Toyota’s New Truck Motor Won a Wards Automotive Award

Truck motors are not efficient. They are, though, powerful and stout, and truck buyers like tried-and-true versions of engines they know because they put them through a lot. So, many ... Read more »

FIA issues response to F1 budget cap breach allegations

The FIA released a statement on Friday evening responding to allegations made regarding budget cap breaches in Formula 1. Reports emerged in Singapore that two teams over-spent last season’s budget ... Read more »

Reddick & Dillon Are Ready To Attack Talladega

The pain of not making it past the first round of eliminations in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs was made a little more bearable for Tyler Reddick when he left ... Read more »

Ford Mustang: Past, present and future | Autoblog Podcast #749

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski. They kick things off by talking about the Ford Mustang: which were the ... Read more »

Hurricane Remnants Cancel Late Model Visit To Pittsburgh

MPERIAL, Pa. — Due to the unfavorable weekend forecast from the remnants of Hurricane Ian, Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway and Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series officials have mutually agreed ... Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network