Ferrari were able to take third in the Constructors’ Championship temporarily from rivals McLaren after the Mexico City Grand Prix, but Carlos Sainz is confident that they could win that battle as they have made progress in every area.
Sainz was speaking in his team’s press release ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix.
“For a third time, we have overtaken McLaren,” he pointed out. “Now we have to make sure we stay in this position.
“I think that recently, we have made progress in every area and so I am confident we can be in the fight all the way to the end. It’s a very interesting battle.”
The Spaniard spoke of the last time he raced in Sao Paulo, where he finished the race fourth for McLaren, only to be promoted to third, his first career podium, after Lewis Hamilton was penalized for punting Red Bull’s Alex Albon into a spin.
“It seems like ages ago, especially as we have not been here for two years,” Sainz reflected. “I have nice memories, even if I was not able to go up on the podium with the two other drivers because the Stewards only took the decision to penalise Hamilton after the ceremony.
“But I was allowed up there later with the whole team for a photo and in some ways that was even better,” the 27-year-old admitted.
“We’re talking about a legend, in motorcycling but also in motorsport as a whole,” Sainz said of the retiring Valentino Rossi, who will be contesting his final MotoGP race this weekend.
“He made MotoGP so popular all over the world and his retirement marks the end of an era,” he went on. “But from what I hear, he will still be involved in racing.
“He came close to racing in Formula 1 with the Scuderia, doing several tests and he even had a go at rallying and now he’s going to do some GT races.
“I hope he continues to enjoy himself because the world of motorsport needs personalities like him,” the Ferrari driver concluded.
Charles Leclerc was also available to comment on this weekend’s F1 activities in Brazil where the final sprint race of the season is taking place.
“I am happy to be back in Brazil,” Leclerc revealed in the Ferrari media brief. “I like the track and the Sprint Qualifying intrigues me, because it means Friday is less boring, as teams have to be prepared for qualifying after just one hour of free practice and it gives the more aggressive drivers a chance of improving their starting positions for Sunday.”
Leclerc reflected on the good result the Scuderia banked in Mexico last time out, compared to the horrid weekend McLaren endured.
“In Mexico, we picked up a good points haul, but our data suggests that our rivals could be slightly quicker than us here,” the Monegasque explained.
“We will have to do everything perfectly, us drivers and the team, as was the case in Mexico,” he concluding warning that maintaining the edge over McLaren will not be easy.
Ferrari are now 13.5 points ahead of the Woking squad, but expect the race in Brazil to be a bit more difficult, as the circuit in Sao Paulo might not suit their SF21. (Follow me on Twitter @MallakJad)
ROUND 19/22 🇧🇷
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) November 10, 2021