Sainz: Data shows I can be as fast as Leclerc in F1 qualifying

Carlos Sainz Jr. says he can match the one-lap pace of his Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Charles Leclerc if he can string together his fastest sectors at future races.

Sainz: Data shows I can be as fast as Leclerc in F1 qualifying

Like other drivers who have switched teams in 2021, Sainz has struggled to match his team-mate as he adapts to a new environment, with progress not helped by the lack of pre-season testing.

At Imola Sainz was only 11th in Q2, while Leclerc started fourth. However the Spaniard says that his best individual sectors were as good as Leclerc’s and it was a matter of perfecting the whole lap.

“I know he's a qualifying expert,” said Sainz. 

“And particularly in the Ferrari he looks to be really at home and knowing exactly what to expect from the car when it comes to Q2 and Q3 high grip conditions, and he's an expert, he's very, very good driver.

“But at the same time if there's something that I've seen during these first two races it's that I'm not slower than him in any of the corners, really.

"So I know that if I put the laps together, I can be up there.

“It's now a matter of focusing on how to put those laps together, what does he do, and what can I do to get better at putting those laps together.

“Or maybe I just need a bit more time and more experience. So let's see, but I'm encouraged about what I see on the data, and it's for me more a matter of time."

Sainz said that knowing where to place the car on the kerbs provided a particular challenge at Imola.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“Maybe it was the kerb riding, how the car will react to the kerb, depending on the angle that I attack the kerb,” he said.

Read Also:

“And I was caught out a couple of times in all these chicanes by maybe catching the kerb in a different angle, and getting out of position.

“There's very long straights after those kerbs and I was missing one or two tenths in the straight after because of that. 

"Basically that's what I'm talking about, just knowing how the car is going to react to which angle, and being super precise on the angle of attack to know that in the next straight I'm not going to lose that tenth and a half that I just made up.

“I'm pretty sure where that where that lap time is, and how it can be extracted."

shares
comments

Related video

Rivals believe Aston has no grounds to dispute aero rules

Previous article

Rivals believe Aston has no grounds to dispute aero rules

Next article

Brivio: Talking with Alonso no different to MotoGP champion Mir

Brivio: Talking with Alonso no different to MotoGP champion Mir
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Carlos Sainz Jr. , Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari
Author Adam Cooper
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Plus

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to STUART CODLING, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
May 14, 2021
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021