Formula 1

Leclerc wary of rivals despite solid session

2 Mins read
GP MONACO F1/2021 - GIOVEDÌ 20/05/2021 credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Scuderia Ferrari at the fore is always good for Formula 1, and after their atrocious year last season, the team seem to be back on an upswing after solid results in the first two Free Practice sessions at the historic Monaco Grand Prix.

The morning started badly for Charles Leclerc who drove a lap of the circuit before being called in due to a gearbox issue that kept him out of the running for the rest of the Practice session. But already at that point there were signs of a major upswing in pace as Carlos Sainz Jr. set strong times.

In FP2, Leclerc was on it immediately and by the time the dust had settled he was quickest of all with Sainz a tenth adrift, the pair the only two to dip below the 72 seconds mark through the streets.

Leclerc said in the team report: “It was quite a surprise to have the day end so well, after we had a difficult start this morning. It’s important to do as many laps as possible, especially here in Monaco, and with the issue we had in FP1 I only completed 4 laps.

“In FP2, I felt at ease with the car and we may even have a bit of margin there to improve. But we shouldn’t get too carried away, because I am convinced that our competitors have more in hand.”

Red Bull Racing Honda and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team who ended the day within touching distance of the Ferrari duo and are sure to unleash more muscle as the weekend progresses.

“We have a day of work ahead of us tomorrow, and we will only know where we really stand on Saturday,” added Leclerc who has yet to finish his home Grand Prix in two attempts.

He will be hoping that Sunday will end up being third time lucky.

Carlos Sainz: “It’s only Practice

GP PORTOGALLO F1/2021 – VENERDI 30/04/2021 credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

The SF21 looked very fast in this weekend’s Monegasque surroundings. Carlos Sainz Jr. seemed to immediately feel at ease on the street circuit, clocking fastest times with only medium tyres on. He placed second behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the morning, but Sainz showed his confidence in the afternoon as well, when he showed an incredible pace even with just the hard compound tyres. In the end, he finished up in second again, but this time behind teammate Leclerc. 

“It has been a very positive first day for the team here in Monaco, but we know it is only practice, things can change a lot from Thursday to Saturday at this track, so we will stay focused.”

Sainz is under no illusions as to how conistent Ferrari will have to be to keeep this positioning up for the entire weekend. He knows the Scuderia must keep working hard.

“Despite being quite happy with the car, we’ll keep working hard over the next two days to understand where we can improve.”

After a very promising day though, Sainz is clearly looking forward to what lies ahead this weekend

“I really missed driving around these streets. I enjoyed myself in both sessions, pushing the car little by little to try to find the limit. Lets’ fine-tune everything to put together a strong Saturday!”.

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About author
Michael is a young writer from Drogheda in Ireland. He has watched Formula 1 since 2010 and fell in love with Formula 1 after the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011. He previously hosted a little known podcast called "The Commentary Box" for 4 years on Belfield FM. He is a newcomer to sports writing and cut his teeth in with Political Opinion pieces in his college newspaper. He won the 2021 SPARC Journalism Award for Best Political Piece and hopes to build on his achievements over time.
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