Carlos Sainz expressed his frustration after Sunday’s British Grand Prix, highlighting the significant setback caused by Ferrari’s decision to revert its car to its Imola specification.

The move, while necessary to address high-speed bouncing issues, has cost the team “two or three months” of development progress according to the Spaniard.

Sainz, who qualified seventh at Silverstone, put in a solid drive in the tricky race marked by changing track conditions to conclude his day fifth, nine places ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc who lost his way after switching too soon to the Intermediate tyre when rain clouds began to move in.

However, beyond the result and the circumstances, Sainz’s main concern was Ferrari’s stalled progress on the development front.

Ferrari’s recent upgrades, particularly the revamped floor introduced in Barcelona, had a negative impact on the Scuderia’s SF-24. The car developed severe bouncing issues in high-speed corners, hindering performance and driver comfort for both Sainz and Leclerc in Spain and in Austria.

In an attempt to address these concerns, Ferrari experimented with different configurations during Friday practice at Silverstone. This compelled the team to revert to its pre-Barcelona Imola specification.

While this improved driveability through Silverstone’s high-speed corners like Maggots and Becketts, it came at a significant cost in terms of overall pace.

By racing with the older car, Ferrari regressed compared to its rivals – Red Bull, Mercedes, and McLaren – who have all successfully upgraded their machines in recent months.

The Italian outfit’s performance gap was evident at Silverstone where Sainz finished almost a minute behind race winner Lewis Hamilton and well behind the McLaren of fourth-placed man Oscar Piastri.

©Ferrari

“It is clearly not good enough,” Sainz admitted. “We have basically the same car as in Imola and since Imola everyone has upgraded, probably added two tenths to the car and we have had to revert.

“We have lost two or three months of performance gain in the wind tunnel or performance we could have added in these three months, so clearly we haven’t taken the right calls recently.

“I feel like today was at least back-to-basics, back to a car which was in Imola and we just need to upgrade it from here. But it is clear that our rivals are a good step ahead of us.”

Contrary to Leclerc, Sainz could at least take solace from the flawless execution displayed by his strategists and crews who put together two time and efficient pit stops.

“I think we did the maximum,” he added. “Especially in the middle of the race when it was slicks-on-wet, I managed to catch the podium positions by six or seven seconds in those conditions that I always enjoy.

“Honestly, all the calls were pretty much spot on, all the tyres, all the radio calls. It was just a shame we were not faster because I feel like we would have been 100% in the fight for the podium or the win.

“But [fifth] and a bonus point at the end with the fastest lap, so we need to be happy.”

©Ferrari

Two upcoming races in Hungary and in Belgium will round off the mid-season before F1’s summer break. Sainz reckons that he’ll be able to live with the detriments of the SF-24’s new floor in Budapest, but running the old package at Spa seems indispensable.

“We will bounce in Turns 4 and 11 [in Hungary], but until something better comes we may have to live with bouncing for a while,” he explained.

“In high-speed tracks we might have to run the floor of this [older] package because if not, the other one is undriveable.

“I trust the team will make the right calls circuit-to-circuit until a more solid package, which is not bouncing in high-speed and good in low-speed, arrives and then we will start thinking about battling the top three teams again.”

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