Carlos Sainz Jr was disappointed to trail the Sauber F1 Team C36-Ferrari of Pascal Wehrlein home in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, especially as the Swiss team are running a 2016 power unit.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso found it impossible to match Wehrlein in the closing stages at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, finishing just behind the German, but inherited the position when Wehrlein was handed a five-second time penalty for a pit lane offence.
But despite this, Sainz admitted it was disheartening to be unable to pass the Sauber driver despite having the use of a supposedly superior 2017 Renault power unit.
“For the first time we were fighting the Sauber and it’s a bit of a desperate situation to have a Ferrari 2016 engine faster than us on the straights, compared to our car at the moment,” said Sainz.
“I tried my best to pass him, I was getting just enough to be side by side at Turn 1 but he was covering the inside line of Turn 1.
“It’s tough to pass here but he was doing a good job to cover the inside line where he could – so good on him.”
Sainz admits the power deficit is disconcerting but is hopeful that the planned Renault upgrade will benefit the team – once it comes – but until then they will have to make the most of what they have got.
“We need a bit more power,” added Sainz. “You can see yesterday we were two tenths to P7, so imagine if Renault brings three tenths – suddenly everything changes.
“We need that step and it’ll take probably another three races, so we need to be patient. We need to keep extracting what we have.
“In qualifying we are not where we want to be, but in the race it is better and better. It’s been four consecutive races now where we try to fight back from a position in qualifying and I hope we don’t do this all year.”