Carlos Sainz reckons Ferrari’s tyre degradation in Bahrain was as bad as it was seen in F1 2022, as he adds on Aston Martin’s pace.

Apart from the retirement of Charles Leclerc which raised questions on Ferrari’s reliability, the tyre degradation was another big factor which could hurt the team going forward. The Italian manufacturer were not alone in this but as title contenders, it is not a good sign.

Apart from Red Bull, no one could complete a soft-soft-hard strategy, with majority opting for hard or even medium for two stints and soft only for one. While Leclerc had the legs to be with Red Bull, he still was on the soft-hard-hard strategy.

And Sainz was left to fight Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton where he lost to the Spaniard but just managed to hang in ahead of the Brit. Partly it was also the case that the #55 driver did not have same pace as Leclerc in Bahrain.

Otherwise, he would have been with his teammate in a good position in fourth. Both Ferrari and Mercedes had similar tyre degradation, while Aston Martin who are generally good with tyres, showcased a better degradation even though they were on the same strategy.

Ferrari had issues with tyre degradation last year and it seems like they still have it at least in Bahrain. And Sainz feels it is same again if we take the first round as a benchmark. “It’s the same,” he said to media. “It’s about as bad as it was last year. It’s just that the other two cars for some reason found something that means they degrade half.

“You can just see how much Fernando and Max could push on the tyres and how much we need to save. As soon as we push, we go backwards. It’s just that doesn’t leave you a lot of margin. At the end of last year, Red Bull had a clear pace advantage in the race. It seems like this year they picked up a lot of pace with their new car and they just opened the gap a bit even further.

“We have some homework to do, some things to analyse and to check because clearly circuits like Bahrain, we’re putting too much stress at the rear and we need to find ways to improve that. I’m sure we do a good analysis and try and make it better,” summed up Sainz, who was particularly concerned about the pace of Aston Martin.

Already the Red Bull camp put the British outfit as the second best on race pace in Bahrain, if it continues the way it is, that will be quite the hit for Ferrari. Sainz is hoping that on other circuits, the rear tyres don’t cook as much which will help them. “In Bahrain, very concerning,” stated the Spaniard.

“I wish that as soon as we go to other tracks where we cook less the rear tyres, we can hold on better. It’s clear their car has something, both Red Bull and Aston, where they degrade a lot less. If you look at Mercedes and us, we have very similar degradation. These other two cars, for some reason, they don’t degrade.

“It’s something we will have to look, analyse and see what we can do. The tarmac in Jeddah is very different. The limitation is not so much as the rear. So we’re pretty sure it’s going a bit different at other tracks. Bahrain is the most extreme for deg of the year so we only have one example. I’m confident in other circuits we can play a better game but for Bahrain, it’s our reality,” summed up Sainz.

Here’s Frederic Vasseur on Ferrari not needing concept change

Here’s Frederic Vasseur on the Bahrain GP problem