RACE DEBRIEF

    Carlos Sainz says Ferrari must end the season on a high to set themselves up for a renewed championship fight in 2023.

    The Scuderia arrive in Japan having outscored Red Bull and Mercedes last Sunday in Singapore, with Charles Leclerc having finished second and Sainz third at Marina Bay.

    And while a double podium has to be considered a good result, it meant Ferrari haven't actually tasted victory since the Austrian Grand Prix back in July. Now Sainz says the team must focus on “gathering momentum” with five races to go to ensure they hit the ground running in 2023.

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    “Personally, I would like… a bit of gathering momentum before next year,” said Sainz in Singapore. “Because this year, for me, has been characterised by never getting more than two or three consecutive good races, always have a reliability issue, bad pit-stop, a strategy issue that comes into play.

    “When you're about to get in a good run of races, you know, that is so important in Formula 1 to gather a bit of momentum and get the confidence for the team and for myself building.”

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    Sainz picked up a podium in Singapore as Ferrari outscored their rivals

    Sainz added that he would like to stop Red Bull breaking the record for victories in a season, with Max Verstappen two away from his 13th Grand Prix win of 2022 – a record set by Michael Schumacher in 2004 and equalled by Sebastian Vettel in 2013.

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    “So hopefully from now on a bit more of that [momentum] and just more podium finishes, and, more importantly, a win,” he said. “That, I think, would be ideal to break the Red Bull record and try to keep ourselves winning and keeping having that good momentum into next year.”

    Ferrari go into the Japanese GP weekend hoping to stop Red Bull achieving their seventh-straight victory, with Max Verstappen needing a win and fastest lap to be sure of securing the championship on Sunday at Suzuka.