Carlos Sainz says he trusts Ferrari's patient approach to their upgrade plan in 2022 amid the ongoing development war with Red Bull Racing. The two teams are battling out front and with the budget cap, their hands are tied in terms of the number of upgrades they can bring to each race.

The two teams have taken a different approach in the first five races of the season, with Red Bull making improvements at every race, while Ferrari have held back. The Italian team have raced with the car that made its debut during the Barcelona pre-season test, but are expected to bring their first development package in Spain this weekend.

Ferrari are leading both the Constructors' and Drivers' championships, but Red Bull have surged ahead in recent races. The Austrian team won in Imola and Miami after introducing a significant upgrade package in Italy.

Sainz, however, is not overly concerned and revealed that he "trusts" in Ferrari's decision to delay their upgrade package. The Spaniard acknowledges that the Maranello-based team are up against the strongest team in F1 at the moment, but is hoping that the upgrades will help them close the gap and continue to fight for wins.

Top two: Carlos Sainz, left, and Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc congratulate each other after qualifying in Miami Brendan Smialowski/AFP

"After five races of development for Red Bull and zero for us, we were locking out the front row in Miami and in the fight for the win and the podium," Sainz told Sky Sports. "I trust the team, I trust what we are doing back at home. I think we have the right ideas."

"We are up against probably the strongest team in Formula 1 in Red Bull, they are going to be quick and they are a great challenge to have in front of us but we keep believing we can do it and we keep developing as much as we can," he added. "Let's see if that's enough."

F1 has introduced a $140 million budget cap for the 2022 season, and teams will have to choose how they spend their limited funds as they go about developing their cars. Ferrari believe Red Bull have already spent a good chnuck of their budget in the opening five races, and are hoping that they will slow down as the season progresses.

Christian Horner's team have denied the claim and insist that they have been wise in their spending thus far. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko feels both the title challengers have spent a similar amounts after alleging that Ferrari would have used up a certain amount to fix Sainz's car after his crashes in Australia, Imola and Miami.

"We are heavily focusing on efficiencies with both our process and our development strategies and how we apply those funds," a Red Bull spokesman said. "We are being much more selective and strategic in what we choose to implement, based on its cost."

Max Verstappen
Red Bull's Max Verstappen is looking to build on his win in Saudi Arabia ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP