Can Mercedes overtake Ferrari? 'It's a fair assessment'

F1 News

Ferrari struggle against their competitors in Spain
25 June at 17:00
  • Sophia Crothall

Whilst his teammate won his home race, the same could not be said for Carlos Sainz, who finished sixth at the Spanish Grand Prix. Both Ferrari drivers failed to feature on the podium, which featured a driver from each of the other top teams - Red Bull Racing, McLaren, and Mercedes. Although Mercedes are becoming a competitor once again for the Italian team, Sainz suggests McLaren are the ones to watch. 

Speaking in the paddock after the Spanish Grand Prix, Sainz commented on whether he thinks Mercedes have a faster car, after both their drivers finished ahead of Ferrari. "Here, we were behind them. I think it's a fair assessment. Obviously tight margins in qualifying, but then in the race, I think I mirrored a bit what Russell did and I was a tenth or two slower. Charles mirrored what Hamilton did and was one or two-tenths slower. And then obviously, Red Bull and McLaren are clearly one step ahead. So, not our best weekend," the Spaniard said. "This was the track where we struggled the most last year, too. So, that's kind of our hope, that it's just a bogus track for us and that there will be other tracks that we will be a bit more competitive. Competitive enough to fight for wins with Red Bull and McLaren? I don't know. But more competitive for sure."

Which team do Ferrari need to watch out for? 

Ferrari were closing the gap between them and Red Bull Racing, who sit at the top of the Constructors. However, a double DNF in Canada, followed by a fifth and sixth place finish in Spain has widened the gap betweent the two teams to 60 points. In the Drivers' standings, Charles Leclerc has also now fallen 2 points behind Lando Norris, who has moved into second place behind Max Verstappen. McLaren have also closed the gap between themselves and the Italian team to just 33 points. Despite remaining second in the Constructors, Sainz is concious that they could catch up. "I think, honestly, the most consistent car right now is a McLaren. I think Red Bull is struggling in certain tracks. Same as us," he explained. 

"McLaren is quick everywhere. They're quick in low speed. They're flat in turns three and nine. They were fastest in turn five with a track warp and ride. So, I just don't see McLaren having any weakness right now. So for me, Red Bull is still up there. But McLaren is quick everywhere, which is quite impressive," the Ferrari driver concluded.