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
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021