Sainz: Sauber will be two steps behind in 2017

After Sauber announced that they will be using 2016-spec Ferrari engines in 2017, Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz said that they will be two steps behind next season.

Confirming the development, Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn explained that the Swiss-based outfit would rather focus on chassis development and performance development.

Similar to Sauber, Sainz has been driving a 2015-spec Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso this season.

The Spaniard said that while they enjoyed success at the start of the season they ultimately dropped down the grid as they couldn’t update their car to match their competitors, something he reckons Sauber will struggle with next year.

"Well, I wish them good luck," he quipped.

"Normally they're one step behind, and if they have a fixed engine for the rest of the year, they will end up being two steps behind.

"Not an easy one for sure, but we want them behind so it's better for us."

After the Japanese Grand Prix concluded, the 22-year-old vented his frustrations after he placed a disappointing P17.

"It's very frustrating, I must say," he continued.

"I tried everything I could, everything – you cannot imagine. With the DRS, with the lines – I even passed [Esteban] Gutierrez one time round the outside of Turn 6, because it was the only place I could pass.

"It's very frustrating, because you know when you go into a race also, your strategy is fixed, because you cannot overtake. It's a shame.

"It's frustrating, but it's what we have at the moment. We need to adapt, we need to correct it.

"[At Suzuka] we chose to run our standard downforce, without any compromise for our top speed – and it shows that our qualy performance improved compared to Malaysia, but our race was probably worse, so we'll need to analyse."

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