Sainz: Ferrari "very close" to being genuine F1 threat in Monaco

Carlos Sainz Jr believes Ferrari is “very close” to being a genuine threat to Mercedes and Red Bull in Monaco after impressing through Thursday’s Formula 1 practice running.

Sainz: Ferrari "very close" to being genuine F1 threat in Monaco

Sainz finished second in both FP1 and FP2 in Monaco, trailing Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc by one-tenth of a second in the afternoon session.

It marked Ferrari’s first 1-2 finish in any F1 session since second practice for the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, acting as the latest milestone in the team’s recovery from its difficult 2020 season.

Ferrari’s form in Monaco surprised title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, but both drivers felt that Sainz and Leclerc would be a real threat at the front of the field this weekend.

Sainz took encouragement from Ferrari’s pace on Thursday, but wanted to wait until track action resumes on Saturday before truly assessing how the team will stack up against Mercedes and Red Bull.

“We definitely look very close to being a genuine threat,” Sainz said.

“I think we need to wait until FP3, because things change a lot from Thursday to Saturday here.

“There are some drivers that stand back a bit on Thursday, just because they want to take it easy, and then suddenly on Saturday, like Lewis always does, he’s super quick.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“We will see. It’s nice to see at least that we are closer to the front, that we’re actually playing around there at the front.

“It’s encouraging for the team, and there’s some positive signs that the car in the corners is actually not that bad.”

Read Also:

Sainz has an impressive record in Monaco, scoring points in each of his five starts in the race and recording a best finish of sixth in both 2017 and 2019.

The Spaniard revealed that he had to adjust his driving style early in practice, finding the Ferrari SF21 car to be much different around the Monaco streets compared to the McLaren he raced last time out.

“I was used to a different car around here, last time I was in Monaco, with a very different balance,” Sainz explained.

“Now I arrive here and the balance that Ferrari try to chase here is quite different, and I had to re-adapt, get my references back, change a bit the driving style, and build the confidence up little by little.

“But what it was important is every time I went across the start/finish, I could see myself always in the top three positions, fighting there.”

 

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen: Red Bull 'very weak' compared to Ferrari in Monaco F1 practice

Previous article

Verstappen: Red Bull 'very weak' compared to Ferrari in Monaco F1 practice

Next article

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

F1 Monaco GP qualifying - Start time, how to watch & more
Load comments
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Plus

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Windtunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as PAT SYMONDS explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021