Carlos Sainz has clear target in F1 2023 but he thinks Ferrari will need a perfect season to achieve that and they have the performance too.

Sainz had far and away his best F1 season to date with a debut victory and his first ever pole position. Despite this, it was a year of learning as he termed it as where he faced loads of bad luck too along the way. But with this year in the bag, with the will to fight, he wants to take it to Max Verstappen in 2023.

As noted, the season that just finished saw him suffer mechanical gremlins and glitches but on the back on the performance of his team mate Charles Leclerc, he wants more from 2023. As it was Red Bull and Verstappen dominated the campaign so Sainz perhaps wasn’t in a position to fight to which he concurs and it will need perfection to beat them.

“Clearly this year, it wasn’t, because I’m very far from him in the Championship and the way that he has performed in combination with Red Bull, they’ve been just the faster package: the quicker car; the quicker driver,” admitted Sainz. “I do feel like with a perfect year, it should be possible but we will need to be perfect next year.

“And we will need to improve the car. I will need to improve, especially in the first half of the season and in the races. So that is the target – and you need to put high targets to yourself and onto the team like this. You can try and accomplish them. And then let’s see what life brings next year to the table,” summed up Sainz.

As per above, he is extremely ambitious and wants to better his 2022 campaign. For Sainz and Ferrari, they need a similar start to the 2023 season that they had in 2022 but need to maintain it if they are to have any chance at all of taking it to Red Bull throughout the long year where Mercedes could put themselves in the mix too.

“I feel we have chances,” said Sainz. “I mean, Red Bull has been dominant, but they’ve been dominant without being clearly ahead in pace and and… yeah, pure quali pace and race pace. So I don’t feel like we are so far behind in terms of car development and car performance. If you think about it, I was on pole in Austin, so it means that we were one-two in Austin in quali.

“So it must be that our car is actually not that far from the Red Bull. And what we need to focus on is in trying to understand next year’s tyres. See how we can be quicker in the race because it’s clear that the Red Bull is particularly quick in the race compared to us. And for the strategy, race execution, tyre management, that’s another step that we want to take next year that we are already working on it.

“But in terms of pure performance, we are not far. We just need to put on a bit more power and a bit more downforce in the car and we’re going to be at the same level or faster. So let’s hope that we can do that,” summed up Sainz.

It was good campaign for all at Maranello but they can’t afford to let the grass grow under their feet for long. As a team they need to work on the weaknesses they encountered and if they can alleviate same, it could be an interesting campaign at the sharp end for the focal teams concerned.

Here’s how the F1 2022 teams were categorised in ranking:

Here’s Sebastian Vettel on time with Charles Leclerc

Here’s Charles Leclerc on P2 finish

Here’s Ferrari on what they are doing for 2023

Here’s Carlos Sainz on 2022 being the year he learnt most since 2015

Here’s news on Frederic Vasseur joining Ferrari

Here’s Charles Leclerc on Mattia Binotto leaving

Here’s Charles Leclerc taking the second place trophy