Max Verstappen’s overwhelming dominance has been made clear by Carlos Sainz, who worries that the driver has redefined success without ever needing to go all the way.
In 2023, Max Verstappen secured his third consecutive world championship triumph, accumulating an incredible advantage of 290 points over Sergio Perez, who finished in second position. Even without Perez’s help, Red Bull’s victory was so dominant that they were able to win the constructors’ championship.
During this epic journey, Ferrari was forced to fight hard for podium spots against teams like Mercedes, Aston Martin, and McLaren. Sainz produced the only non-Red Bull victory of the season at the Singapore Grand Prix, marking a remarkable moment in spite of the difficult terrain.
They secured seven podium places overall, together with teammate Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen form terrifies me, Carlos Sainz.
Despite Verstappen’s historical margins and records, Sainz maintains that the Dutchman never truly needed to maximise his own abilities or the RB19 in order to win.
“We went on the track with hopes but then came away with a lot of frustration, it’s been a complicated season with a car that was better on Saturday in qualifying than on Sunday in the race,” Sainz remarked at an event sponsored by Estrella Galicia.
“On Verstappen’s dominance, I believe he only went as far as necessary; that’s what worries me the most. He didn’t need to go 100%.”
Max has reached 100% when it was necessary for him to reach 100%. In numerous races, he and Red Bull had a lead of ten seconds based on data and analysis; they didn’t need to overtake us by five more seconds, and they might have even held onto their lead.
That’s my theory, my perspective, and the reason I tell the team that we need to gain six instead of four tenths because I’m sure in some races they didn’t have to give it their all. You have to accept the possibility that in races where they had a large lead, they may not have given it their all.
Carlos Sainz: There is deceit in race
In an effort to derail Verstappen’s quest for a fourth straight championship, Sainz continued by revealing that Ferrari is presently evaluating the 2023 season in order to plan for a more formidable opposition against Red Bull in 2024. Ferrari finished the year strongly, with four podium finishes in the last five races, highlighted by Sainz’s triumph in Singapore and Leclerc’s outstanding performance in Monza.
Leclerc’s intense duel for the lead against both Red Bulls during the first-ever Las Vegas Grand Prix was especially notable as it demonstrated Ferrari’s return to competitiveness.
“There are still a lot of meetings to analyze everything. The review is scheduled for January, and with one month left, it will give you a better look at everything,” Sainz continued.
Red Bull is well aware of the requirements for the car under this regulation. You can see that you are not far away from them and that we can beat or match them on Saturday, but it’s misleading because the difference in time between each lap and the entire race is only.5 seconds.
“On Sunday, we all discovered that their greatest asset is their adaptability. I believe the key needs to be found there. As Mercedes believed in June 2022, we weren’t that far away, but 2023 proved that we weren’t moving in the correct path.