Carlos Sainz recognises that competing Formula 1 sides might find it challenging to break Red Bull’s grip in the upcoming seasons.
Considering how powerful Red Bull has been post the initiation of the new ‘ground effect’ standards in 2022 and 2023, many suggest Max Verstappen might remain atop the podium until the subsequent regulations debut in 2026.
The only contender who has eclipsed a Red Bull this term has been Sainz, who mentions that Ferrari has discerned the deficiencies in the 2023 model.
“We know exactly what we are missing,” he voiced at a promotional event in Madrid. “We have been able to identify and understand it.
“I think that if there is a team capable of doing it, it is Ferrari. But time will tell.”
The Spaniard concedes, nonetheless, that Red Bull has a formidable advantage at present.
“Without them, we would be talking about one of the most even and fun years in F1, with Aston Martin, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all at a very similar level,” said Sainz, 29.
“But actually we have someone who is half a second ahead.”
For this reason, many of the previously mentioned leading squads have shifted their attention away from their 2023 models to concentrate purely on the 2024 iteration.
“It’s what we have done too,” said Sainz. “The last update was introduced in Japan.
“The design for the upcoming car is set in stone and we’re fine-tuning it in the wind tunnel as we speak.”
Undoubtedly, motivated by McLaren’s substantial progress mid-season, the majority of the elite teams are looking to adopt the Red Bull ‘concept’ in 2024.
But Sainz warned: “Red Bull is two years ahead. So first there is the difficulty of getting to their level and that’s why they are dominating so much now.
“But time will tell. We have no choice but to focus on ourselves,” he said.
On the topic of Red Bull’s reign potentially extending to the culmination of 2025, Sainz doesn’t rule it out.
“Time will tell. I just don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know how to answer.
“The only thing I can do is be optimistic and think that a team like Ferrari has the capacity to do it, especially if McLaren has taken such a step.
“At least we know what we have to work on, what we have to improve and if that takes us to Red Bull’s level, well. I certainly hope so,” added Sainz.