Are Ferrari Quick Enough to Deliver a Charles Leclerc Pole & a Shock F1 Win in Istanbul?

Published 10/09/2021, 3:30 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 8, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer


2021 has certainly been a morale-boosting season for Ferrari after having to endure the 2020 nightmares. The reds already own a couple of back-to-back pole positions and a handful of podiums, and the numbers could go further up at the ongoing Turkish Grand Prix.

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Charles Leclerc has been the star of the show when it comes to qualifying sessions, with the Monegasque securing both the pole positions. And now, after quite a long absence, Leclerc is yet again teasing his chances of starting the race at Istanbul Park on pole.

There are too many factors playing in favor of Leclerc this weekend, including Lewis Hamilton’s penalty and Red Bull’s untimely struggles.

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Red Bull’s Trouble-induced Friday

Red Bull have had an awful start to their weekend in Istanbul, with Max Verstappen complaining of multiple issues, including terrible balance. Consequently, this is affecting tire temperature too, and Dr. Helmut Marko, too, affirmed the same following the FP2 session.

Even if we take that into account, we’re slower than Mercedes. The car doesn’t turn in. Instead, the rear breaks out. Even if we turn up the engine, something must still come from the car,” he said.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 8, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Umit Bektas

And on top of that, Ferrari drivers seem a bit quicker than the bulls at the moment. Carlos Sainz, despite having enough pace in his car, opted to stick with the long runs as he will be starting from the back of the grid. Leclerc, however, has looked in blistering form.

Hence, the Monegasque superseding at least one of the Red Bull drivers wouldn’t come as a shock.

Ferrari quicker than Mercedes?

No, at least not in the long run. Leclerc paced himself with Hamilton through the qualifying runs, hardly 0.1s slower than the Briton. That wouldn’t concern him much, as Hamilton, anyway, will be starting from P11 in the best-case scenario.

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Yes, Hamilton is an imminent threat to Leclerc in the race, as the former will fight his way up the grid and arrive behind Leclerc at some point. But, that’s where Ferrari could have an advantage.

Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

According to Auto Motor Und Sport, Leclerc’s Ferrari is almost 0.3s quicker than the Mercedes. Hence, even if Hamilton ends up within the DRS range of Leclerc, he will undeniably have a hard time beating the Ferrari.

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So, all of these factors point to one exciting outcome- A Leclerc pole and maybe, even a race win! But, how far is this plausible in reality? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

1272 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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