“Of course, we expected to perform better in Canada,” says Carlos Sainz. At the Formula 1 race in Montreal, Ferrari ended up without any points for the first time in the 2024 season. Sainz aims to ensure that this won’t happen again at his home race in Barcelona.

Sainz is confident that Ferrari has drawn the necessary conclusions from their analysis to return to their normal form at the Spanish Grand Prix. He stated, “Unfortunately, we didn’t get everything right with the tires in Canada. It was likely also partly due to the setup. Hence, we had a bad weekend there.”

Overall, however, he sees no reason to panic. Sainz views the Canadian Grand Prix as an outlier for Ferrari, saying, “With a calendar of 24 races, there will always be some where you perform at a really high level and others where things don’t go as planned. But I think we’ve learned from it.”

Additionally, he points out that the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is now on the schedule, a “much more normal track” that is well-known in Formula 1 circles due to many past races and especially test drives. “Here, we know the setup. We know how to drive the warm-up lap and the fast lap,” says Sainz. “Hopefully, we’ll get it right and be much stronger here.”

He is eager to seize his opportunity with Ferrari. “And there’s always a chance,” Sainz emphasizes. “But I’d rather wait until after the Friday practices to really say how big that chance is.”

As of now, he estimates it to be “very small,” considering how dominant Red Bull has been on similar tracks. “But if we see a close field like in Imola, where we were one or two tenths off the pole, or in Miami with the McLarens, or if we dominate like in Monaco…,” Sainz ponders. However, this remains speculation just hours before practice begins in Barcelona.

For Sainz, the pressure to succeed is an additional source of strength. The overall excitement before his home race further motivates him, he says. He loves the pressure of racing in front of his own fans. “I believe it simply puts me in a better mood when I see people cheering for me and giving me that positive energy. You smile more, you laugh more, you’re just more motivated.”

While there is no “magic button” in the car to suddenly make you faster, “Barcelona is still one of my best tracks where, statistically, I’ve scored more points. And maybe there’s a reason for that. Yes, I hope that can give us a slight advantage.”