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Sainz warns of return to "midfield scrap" as Ferrari battle issues

Sainz warns of return to "midfield scrap" as Ferrari battle issues

F1 News

Sainz warns of return to "midfield scrap" as Ferrari battle issues

Sainz warns of return to "midfield scrap" as Ferrari battle issues
Ian Parkes & Will Gray

Carlos Sainz has warned Ferrari fans not to expect the Scuderia's recent successes to continue in France this weekend.

Sainz’s team-mate Charles Leclerc qualified on pole for both of the last two races, and while Sainz finished second for the team in Monaco, the Baku race showed signs that Ferrari is not yet in a position to fight at the front under normal conditions.

“It was positive to see that [in Baku] on a lower downforce track with a very long straight we still managed to be competitive and to challenge the leaders for pole position," said Sainz.

“On the other hand, in the race we went back to where we were expecting to be before the weekend, so qualifying was a bit more of an over-delivery, more than representing the real picture of the field as it is now.

“The race helped us to calm down a bit our expectations and realise we are still not where we want to be and that we are still battling some issues here and there to try to be as competitive as the leaders.

“I don’t think the others will have as much problems getting the tyres up to temperature in qualifying, that was one of our strengths in Baku, maybe a weakness of others.

“I expect here the competitive picture of the Baku race trim to set the tone for the whole weekend both in the short and long runs and us having to go back to the midfield scrap with Alpine, McLaren, AlphaTauri and company.”

Sainz has happy memories of Paul Ricard

Despite this, Sainz is hoping for a strong performance at the Le Castellet track where he has a strong history, including one weekend when he laid down the marker that secured his graduation to F1 with Toro Rosso.

Sainz recalled: “I nearly sealed the World Series by Renault title [here]. It was a very high pressure weekend, I had to win, basically, to show Red Bull and Helmut Marko I really wanted the F1 seat, and I won the two races.

“That weekend was very important in my career and since then I have Paul Ricard in my memory as a great atmosphere and a great place to go back to with good memories."

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