Before the Tifosi get upset about Ferrari setting high expectations and not delivering again, there’s a good reason for it this time. Namely, that the SF-23 has had so many swings in performance this year and based on the evidence, that should swing in their favour at a high-speed circuit like Monza.
Carlos Sainz told the media at Zandvoort that he believes Ferrari’s strong performance at Spa-Francorchamps, a high-speed circuit, likely signals they will have the second or third fastest car at Monza. Something they will certainly be hoping for at their home race.
“Next weekend, Monza, I think we should be back to a decent place,” Sainz said.
“I know it sounds positive or optimistic right now, but our performance swings this year is so high that we could also be looking at being back to second- or third-fastest car in Monza.
“In front of the Tifosi, especially after such a good result in Spa, so I’m more optimistic about that, and while it has been a tough weekend [at Zandvoort], we still managed to finish in the top five.”
Team principal, Fred Vasseur, echoed Sainz’s statement about the SF-23’s fluctuations in performance but added that another reason for their struggles is the unpredictability of the grid from P2 to P12.
“What we can expect is that from one weekend to the other, one that even if Max [Verstappen] is always at the top of the list, that between P2 and P12 it’s a completely different order,” Vasseur explained.
“In Spa, we were in a very good shape, this weekend it was a bit mor difficult for us, even if I think the potential was better than the result, that’s for sure.
“Each weekend now it’s we have to start from scratch and nobody can say who will be in front, but we were not expecting also the result of Williams yesterday [Alex Albon qualifying P4], also the Williams performing on the high-speed tracks, but on the paper one what was not the favourite one for them, and they did very well.
“But it means that with this kind of convergence of performance, every single detail on the approach, driver management, tyre management, drivers, and so, can make a big difference bigger than the difference of the package and at the end, you don’t know.
“Nobody knows before the weekend what could be the classification? And it’s good for F1. But sometimes it’s putting a bit of pressure on the system.”
Ferrari currently sit at P4 in the Constructors’ standings ahead of their home race at Monza.