Ferrari experienced a real performance boost in both practice sessions in Baku, as its drivers were able to secure good places. Despite this, Carlos Sainz isn’t 100% happy with the performance coming out of Monaco.
Sainz does not want to set high expectations for qualifying and the race, saying that Ferrari is “definitely not as fast as in Monaco”.
The Italian team had its first accent in Monaco two weeks ago, when Charles Leclerc surprisingly secured pole position and Carlos Sainz finished on the podium. But neither driver is getting their hopes up too high for this weekend because, according to them, Ferrari does not have a car for a high-speed circuit. However, the duo had strong results on both Friday practice sessions.
Sainz knows that the team was “definitely a bit faster than we expected,” but he also knows that they are missing a lot on the leading teams.
“It is true also that I got a couple of tows on my good laps. The long run, we didn’t quite clearly see the pace. So maybe the whole picture is not as clear as it can get. Probably tomorrow will be a better indicator, but we are definitely not as quick as in Monaco, that is for sure.
“I think Red Bull are both quicker in the short run and the long run, and we just need to get our heads down and work out if we can find a bit more lap time.”
Leclerc agrees with Sainz’s claims, adding that McLaren look to be a strong contender despite their lower results during practice.
“I think McLaren are very, very quick, but they haven’t shown it for some reason today. Maybe it was less of a clean day compared to us. I feel like they are still a bit ahead of us here. We’ll have to wait and see tomorrow.
“Definitely Red Bull, and Mercedes, I don’t really know what happened either, but I’m pretty sure they will be in front. And it will be basically a fight with McLaren, that is our main competitor, so we need to make sure we do everything perfect, because they are doing very few mistakes this year.
“So, we are going to try and maximize our potential, and hopefully we can be ahead of them much more in qualy.”
McLaren’s Lando Norris doesn’t believe their car can compete with Ferrari.
“I think it looks very close between like us, AlphaTauri, Renault, and so on. Ferrari and Red Bull look quite a long way ahead of us. So, it’s going to be tough. I think just getting to Q3 is the main target.
“We are quite a long way off Red Bull and Ferrari, both in qualy and race pace. Hopefully into tomorrow we can make some improvements and find something.
“It’s not too bad. The car’s feeling relatively good. Of course, some things to try and improve on overnight.
“But we are a bit too far away to do anything special. So, we’ll keep plugging away.”