The Spanish driver has been so far unable to extract as much from the new ground effect F1-75 chassis as teammate Charles Leclerc, and endured another frustrating outing in Spain last week when he dropped down the order with a spin.
Having had a run of incidents in Australia, Imola, and Miami, Sainz is aware that the situation needs to turn around soon to deliver stronger results for his team.
Key to that is developing his understanding of how Ferrari’s current car behaves, with him admitting that he is not fully comfortable with the “pointy” nature of the front end on turn-in.
Asked about the specific characteristics of the car that he was struggling with, Sainz said the situation was very complicated and could not be fully answered.
“It’s very specific,” he said. “It’s a lot of detail. It is probably just too much to put into an interview, or to put into words, because I think it also deserves some privacy and some team confidential things.
“I think you can see from the cameras and from everywhere that I’m not there yet with the car compared to last year, and I’m not bragging naturally that the car is a bit too pointy for my liking.
“But that’s the way it goes: you can either adapt yourself, or you can bring your car a bit more to your liking.
“These two things, they take time and they take knowledge and experience. It takes mistakes, it takes trial and error. And this is what I am in the process of now.”
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03, Fernando Alonso, Alpine A522
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Sainz said his performances were also being cast in a bad light because of the way that his teammate Leclerc has been able to get on top of the car and regularly challenge for wins.
“He’s driving at a very high level,” he explained. “He’s putting together super impressive lap times, with an aggressive way of driving.
“I can only admire and try in some ways to copy, and in other ways to try to put it a bit more to my liking to be faster. And that’s it, you know. It sometimes goes like this and, as a driver, you just need to go through a process and challenge yourself.”
Sainz said he had faith that his understanding of the car would improve.
“I keep the positivity and the motivation to turn things around as soon as possible,” he said. “It’s not been easy.
“You can probably see from the onboards and from the mistakes, that I’m struggling quite a bit to drive this car and to understand how to extract the maximum out of it. It’s given me a whole new challenge in my F1 career.
“I’m having to think out of the box, drive out of the box. And with this comes mistakes, and learning things that I’m having to learn.
“I’m putting my head down to try and fight this, and try to make it turn as soon as possible. There’s been a combination of misfortune and mistakes from my side, which also counts, no?
“But I think in the future it’s going to turn all of a sudden, or it’s going to turn a little by little and I just need to keep my head down.”