Formula 1 | Sainz expected to be further from Leclerc this year
The Italian Grand Prix will be contested at Monza this weekend in front of a gauge which will reach at most half of a normal Grand Prix on the circuit. This is the first race in Italy with a crowd since the 2019 Italian GP.
The previous four, two in Imola, one in Monza and one in Mugello, had indeed been held behind closed doors, or in front of a few health workers who had been invited.
« I am a Ferrari driver, but I haven’t had the experience of being a Ferrari driver » explains Carlos Sainz, who will discover Monza in the shoes of a Ferrari driver. « I just drive for Ferrari, but I haven’t had the experience of appreciating tifosi. »
« I do it sometimes in Maranello, when they approach me, when I go to the factory. But I must be one of the only Ferrari drivers in history to have taken more than a year to feel like a Ferrari driver! «
“Budapest gave me that first opportunity, with the whole fan base there, and the love you get from everyone at the hotel. I don’t know if you’ve seen my videos on Instagram, but It was crazy. So I can’t wait to be at Monza. I don’t know how close they will let them get to us. But still, I think it’s going to be amazing. «
Sainz doesn’t know what to expect at Monza, with a Ferrari struggling more than Zandvoort on a circuit where top speed is essential: « Monza is weird, because in the first two bickering we should be good. »
“Obviously the straights between the two won’t be so good. But yeah, hopefully if the low downforce package works well and gives us what we want it could turn out to be a good week too. -end. «
A positive result for a solid first season in Red
Carlos Sainz has had a good season so far, with two podiums and a provisional seventh place in the championship, 2.5 points behind his teammate Charles Leclerc. He weighs the good and bad points of his 2021 fiscal year so far.
“In terms of points, it was obviously my best start. But like I said before the summer break, I feel like I had better first half of the season in terms of pure performance as a pilot. »
“I think my third season at Toro Rosso has been about maximizing the car you have and getting the best possible result for that car every weekend. I have more points because the car is more competitive than it is. back then. But I think I still have some leeway, and I remain critical and analytical. «
“I think it’s a good season so far. I wouldn’t say it’s been great, but it’s been good. And given the challenge I had ahead of me, and given all the unknowns, I think I can be quite happy about it. «
“Being so quick from the start in the car, and finding the limit of the car from the start made me a lot more relaxed for every weekend, knowing I was going to be in. rhythm. »
« The challenge was more to put it all together every weekend, like I did at McLaren, and that’s what brings the points and brings the overall result. »
« But I feel that on this side too, there has been a lot of improvement since the first race. And if I continue to progress at this rate, I should soon be as consistent as I want to be and continue to exploit the performance of the car. «
Leclerc, a benchmark that Sainz can reach
With a small gap in the championship between Sainz and Leclerc, one might think that their rivalry is in full swing. The Spaniard reveals he expected a more complicated start to the season against the designated leader of Scuderia.
“Obviously, against a guy as fast as Charles, a guy who knows the car so well, you never know when you come into the team, what you’re going to find. But from the first race I feel like to be very close, and it is played to a tenth, like with all my teammates. «
« Now it’s about perfecting the starts, the first laps, feeling the car in the dirty air. I have to know what to do with the car from Q1 to Q2, Q2 to Q3, to maximize performance, use the tires and manage them. «
« There are so many complex things. You have to leverage the strategy with the team and with the communications. As you saw in Hungary, there are still things that need to be fine-tuned before you are successful every weekend. and become a pilot who optimizes his weekends. «