Sainz: Ferrari "definitely not as quick as in Monaco"

Carlos Sainz Jr believes Ferrari is "definitely not as quick as in Monaco" despite finishing third in both Formula 1 practice sessions for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Friday.

Sainz: Ferrari "definitely not as quick as in Monaco"

Ferrari took a surprise upswing in performance over the Monaco race weekend as the team's SF21 car excelled on the slow-speed layout, allowing Charles Leclerc to score pole position.

Damage from a crash at the end of qualifying ultimately prevented Leclerc from starting the race, but Sainz was able to finish second for Ferrari, marking his first podium for the team.

Both Ferrari drivers were quick to downplay the chances of the team's form continuing once it got to Baku, believing the high-speed sections would cause its advantage to be ebbed away.

But in Friday practice Sainz finished third in both FP1 and FP2, while Leclerc was able to take fourth in the afternoon despite hitting the barrier at Turn 15 when on a quick lap.

Sainz accepted that Ferrari was "definitely a bit quicker than we anticipated" in Baku, but felt the team was not as quick as it had been over the Monaco weekend compared to its rivals.

"It is true also that I got a couple of tows on my good laps," Sainz explained.

"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're definitely not as quick as in Monaco, that's 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."

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Leclerc agreed with Sainz's belief that Ferrari had surpassed its expectations in Baku, but remained wary of the threat that McLaren and Mercedes would pose despite both trailing the Maranello squad on Friday.

"I think McLaren are very, very quick, but they haven't shown it for some reason today," Leclerc said.

"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's 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 maximise our potential, and hopefully we can be ahead of them much more in qualy."

But McLaren driver Lando Norris was less optimistic about his chances after finishing eighth in FP2, over half a second off Leclerc's time in P4.

"I think it looks very close between like us, AlphaTauri, Alpine, and so on," Norris said.

"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."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Azerbaijan GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

Previous article

F1 Azerbaijan GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more

Next article

Why Mercedes' "worst Friday" leaves it behind Alfa in Baku so far, as Red Bulls run riot

Why Mercedes' "worst Friday" leaves it behind Alfa in Baku so far, as Red Bulls run riot
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Plus

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021