Despite the eternal optimism of Mattia Binotto, director of Scuderia Ferrari, Charles Leclerc does not expect to be able to compete with Red Bull in the long straights of the Monza circuit.
We hear two very different stories at Ferrari: Mattia Binotto, the team principal, is optimistic for the end of the season by setting a target of seven victories for the last seven races but Charles Leclerc, the driver, does not don’t expect to be so successful.
The last victory for Leclerc, and a Ferrari, dates back to the Austrian Grand Prix, almost two months ago. Since then, he and his teammate Carlos Sainz have only won two pole positions and only two podium finishes. And for the former championship leader, now relegated to 109 points from Max Verstappen, the Italian Grand Prix will be difficult given the performance displayed by Red Bull since the return from vacation.
« I think it’s going to be a pretty tough weekend, at least on paper »he said at a press conference. “We expect Red Bull to be more competitive. The track characteristics don’t really suit our cars. will be a good one and that we will perform better than expected. »
At the Belgian Grand Prix, the difference in top speed between the RB18 and the F1-75 was surprising as the red bull outclassed its opponent. Once again, Binotto did not express any particular fears for the Monza meeting, on a circuit mainly composed of long straights, while Leclerc was more pessimistic.
« I think compared to Red Bull in particular – because it’s been a bit more consistent since the start of the season – we’re slower on the straights. Their main strength this year is top speed. We seem to be a little faster in the corners, but on tracks like [Monza]it’s not enough to compensate for the advantage they have in a straight line »he added.
As was already the case in Belgium and the Netherlands, Ferrari could be content with a fight with Mercedes for the crumbs left by Red Bull. Nonetheless, the W13’s fluctuating form could continue to play tricks on the star brand. « Compared to Mercedes, it’s difficult to make predictions for this weekend, they had ups and downs »concluded Leclerc.