Carlos Sainz Jr. is aiming to be much more consistent during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season after experiencing many highs and low points during his 2022 season that ended him only fifth in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver had a breakthrough 2022 season with his first victory of his Formula 1 career in the British Grand Prix as well as his first pole positions, but he also suffered six retirements, most of which were down to driver error or contact with other drivers.
This meant he ended the year sixty-two points behind team-mate Charles Leclerc in the Drivers’ Championship, but he hopes 2023 will see him return to the kind of consistency he knows the can achieve so he can fight for more race victories and perhaps even the championship.
“At the beginning, I had two consecutive retirements [Australian and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix] and at the end I was driving well, but I had the accident in Austin when I started from pole position, and also the car was no longer there to win,” Sainz is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com.
“I have had many highs and lows. For next year, hopefully there will be fewer low points and many high peaks to be able to have a more linear season.
“My goal is to be consistent. To win races, I already know what it is, but if you want to fight for the world championship, you have to be consistent.
“If you’re at the front, the worst result is fifth or sixth, but with six or seven retirements that we’ve had, a series of points will go away that make you miss the world championship – although it’s also true that [Max] Verstappen and Red Bull have been stronger.
“I believe that by learning those couple of lessons and going back to being the consistent Carlos of 2021, who I think will finish all the races, you can fight for the world championship.”
Despite having the best race car of his career to date in 2022 thanks to Ferrari’s F1-75, Sainz feels that fighting for a title in Formula 1 feels both near and far away at the same time.
“Near because I am in one of the best teams in the world, but in F1 there is a high level, both in terms of teams and drivers,” Sainz added. “I am going to put the effort and the desire year after year, but then the circumstances have to arise to have one of the best cars and take advantage of it.
“This year is the first that I have had a really competitive car and it has made me learn a lot. I am sure that I will take advantage of this to improve in the future.”