Carlos Sainz believes Ferrari should be praised for its “high risk” launch event that saw the car complete its very first lap live in front of fans in Maranello and online.
Ferrari unveiled the SF-23 during a live event at the team’s headquarters in Italy, and then duly took the new chassis out for 15km of demonstration running on its Fiorano test track. When Charles Leclerc left the pits for the first time it was the first running the car had done and Sainz says the fact it was trouble-free is an encouraging start.
“I think it was honestly amazing, and as Ferrari I think I will allow myself to give a bit of praise to the team and what they organized,” Sainz said. “Formula 1 needs these kinds of events nowadays, these kinds of presentations where you bring all the media, all the fans and bring our partners, you bring engineers involved in the project, the mechanics who have been building the car for the last couple of months and you join them all together and join with a presentation of the actual car running without too much privacy.
“With the nature of Formula 1 I think we were brave to do it because it was the first ever installation lap we did with that car and it can go bad. We took the risk to do something different and I hope that you guys enjoyed it, I definitely did and it was a very good day for Ferrari and Formula 1.
“The first thing that I am positive about is that with everything we did today nothing went wrong and everything was perfect. It’s relatively high risk to put a brand new F1 car on track in front of so many people and actually enjoy it without any single problem. Normally on an installation lap there are little issues here and there, but today things were running smoothly.
“I could actually push a little bit in the car in corners and feel a few things. I have already given a little bit of feedback to the engineers for tomorrow. And tomorrow we have the first 100km where we will continue with the build-up to Bahrain, but obviously until Bahrain we won’t know how the car is handling and how it is performing, but at least we will have covered some nice steps in the right direction.”
While Sainz found the 2022 car tricker to handle than his first Ferrari, he says he is able to tell quickly if a chassis is to his liking and was looking for clues even during the launch demonstration ahead of a 100km shakedown at Maranello on Wednesday.
“I don’t know exactly the number (of laps), but today for example I pushed. I asked Charles ‘Is everything OK? Everything feels OK? On the brakes the car feels normal, yeah?’ ‘Yeah everything feels normal’, and I went out and I pushed and I try and feel something. Already I can give them some feedback.
“From today to extract the most of the car at the limit there’s still laps to come. Tomorrow we will start getting closer to the limit, but until Bahrain really – where you put on a proper race tire, not this demo tire that we have here – you’re not going to feel the deficiencies or the places of the car you need to improve on.”