The Scuderia Ferrari team got both their drivers into the final part of qualifying (Q3) for the second time in three races at the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. The Italian team has taken a good step forward after a dismal 2020 season. Carlos Sainz for the first time this season outqualified his team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Sainz finished in fifth position and will start the race on the soft compound tyres. Leclerc qualified in eighth position but will start on the more durable medium compound tyres. Both Ferrari drivers will be on different strategies in the race and will be leading the charge to secure the first podium for the Ferrari team this season.
Laurent Mekies, the Racing Director of the Ferrari team, was satisfied with the qualification session at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Mekies said: “All in all, qualifying more or less matched our expectations after what we saw yesterday. Track conditions were very difficult to assess, with an annoying wind, but we secured a good result, getting both drivers into Q3, which only two other teams managed to do. Carlos did a great job today, especially in Q3, when he got everything out of the car.
“Charles could not quite match that in the final part, but his good performance in Q2 means he can start the race on the mediums which, on paper, is a significant advantage in terms of strategy, compared to our closest rivals.
In this first part of the season, on all three tracks so far, in very different conditions, we have consistently been at the top end of the midfield, always getting at least one of our drivers ahead of the others. That was our goal in terms of outright performance and we have achieved it, even though we know we have to work hard to repeat it at each and every Grand Prix. Now, tomorrow’s objective is to convert today’s potential in the race.”
The Ferrari team will hope their drivers can withstand the slippery and windy conditions and secure the first podium place for the team in the 2021 season.