Sainz teases Verstappen: ‘Australia could be on the calendar more often!’

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Sainz teases Verstappen: 'Australia could be on the calendar more often!'

Carlos Sainz did not mind that Red Bull Racing had a technical problem during the Australian Grand Prix and he calls on Max Verstappen to have races like in Melbourne more often. The Spaniard had fun during the press conference, but is also realistic about the rest of the season. He knows that Red Bull will stay ahead of Ferrari at circuits like Suzuka.

Red Bull put things in order in Japan after the weekend in Australia. The champion formation took its third one-two finish of the year, with Verstappen as the winner and Pérez in P2. Sainz completed the podium, just like in Bahrain. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff stated that Verstappen is invincible this season, and that a failure like in Australia will not slow him down. “I think they will definitely have an advantage in the first third of the season until we bring one or two upgrades that will allow us to put pressure on them more consistently,” said Sainz.

“But by then it might be a bit too late with the lead they probably already have in the championship,” the Spaniard acknowledges. Ferrari caught up after Australia, but Red Bull’s lead is now 21 points. ‘In the meantime, we need more races like in Australia! I don’t see Red Bull as a team making these mistakes very often, no,” Sainz laughs. ‘A shame, because I also missed a race, which could be costly for both the team and me in the championship. In any case, we will do our utmost. It’s also my last year at Ferrari, so yeah, nothing to lose and we’ll try to make a comeback.”

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Sainz teases Verstappen: 'Australia could be on the calendar more often!'
Sainz took P3 in the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix.

Sainz thinks upgrades will be crucial

While Ferrari still looked very strong in the long runs on Friday and Saturday, they could offer little resistance to Red Bull on Sunday. The rise in temperatures from Saturday to Sunday did her down, but Sainz is satisfied with the result. ‘Yes, very satisfying. We have improved the car exactly in areas where we needed to improve, and Suzuka proves it,” said Sainz. ‘In places like Suzuka we are not yet as fast as Red Bull, which is our target, but once we make a good upgrade to the car that goes in the right direction, hopefully it can get us closer. The race pace in particular is a lot better.’

Last year Ferrari struggled with a fickle car that performed well on Saturday, but less so on Sunday. To beat Red Bull, they really need a good racing car. That’s much better this year. “It also allows us to have more strategic flexibility, something we didn’t have last year. “It allows me to move forward in the races and instead of constantly looking in my mirrors to compensate myself with strategy and then overtake people, which was not the case at any time last year,” said Sainz . “So, I’m happy and it makes me enjoy racing more.”

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