Carlos Sainz jokes F1 midfield is actually ‘top field’, minus Max Verstappen

Michelle Foster
Carlos Sainz up close in the Ferrari with its special Monza livery.

取Red Bull out of the equation, and Carlos Sainz says what pundits are today calling Formula 1’s midfield – Mercedes, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and McLaren – is “actually the top field”.

In the midst of a season in which Red Bull, and most notably Max Verstappen, have dominated week in and week out with the Dutchman on a nine-race winning streak, there was some encouragement for Ferrari in Friday’s practice for the Italian Grand Prix with Sainz setting the pace.

The Spaniard laid down a 1:21.355 to beat Lando Norris by 0.019s with Sergio Perez third fastest, a further 0.166s down.

Additional reporting Thomas Maher

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As for Verstappen, the reigning World Champion wasonly the fifth fastestwith his gap to Sainz sitting at 0.276s.

But with his pace offering some encouragement to Ferrari and their Tifosi, Sainz says it’s difficult to predict how the rest of the Italian Grand Prix weekend will play out.

“I don’t know,” he told the media including “This year I don’t know anymore what to expect it’s been such an up and down, and so many performance swings in this so-called now midfield that is not the midfield is actually top field.

“But there’s still one thing that is Red Bull is dominating, that makes us more the midfield.

“So it’s very difficult to predict and one-tenth of a second better or worse means being on the podium or out of the top 10. So we will see.” recommends

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With the 2023 championship titles staying in Milton Keynes this season, Sainz hinted that Ferrari will now begin to use Friday practices to test parts for next season.

虽然,并不意味着法拉利是鞠躬out of the fight for P2.

“别误会我仍然有Constructors’ Championshipto fight with Mercedes and Aston Martin, which we still believe we can come out on top if we do a perfect job,” he said.

“But there’s also the fact that we need to use these practice sessions to keep trying things. Also, there’s very circuit-specific that is not worth it maybe like Monza or Singapore, and then there’s obviously circuits where you can definitely learn a lot.”

Ferrari are currently fourth in the standings on 201 points, 54 behind second-placed Mercedes.

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