Ferrari Adopting ‘Defensive’ F1 Strategy Amid ‘Difficult’ Part of 2021 Season

Published 06/01/2021, 2:56 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during the race REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

Ferrari have drastically improved on their performance from last year. The Italian team currently sit in fourth place in the constructors’ standings behind rivals, McLaren. After their stellar performance at the Monaco GP, where Carlos Sainz came P2 and brought the Scuderia their first podium this season, the team hope to have a counter-attacking strategy at Baku, as stated by sporting director, Laurent Mekies.


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The team feel they won’t be as strong as the season progresses and will have to use a defensive tactic to make the most out of the upcoming race in Baku.

Ferrari will utilize a counter-attacking plan at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix


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Speaking to, as quoted by PlanetF1, Mekies said, “This is the start of a difficult part of the season for us. If in Spain the SF21 was clearly the third strongest force in the field and in Monaco it even showed the potential to win. The situation should be different in the next few races, starting with Baku.

“Already this weekend we expect a very strong McLaren which should adapt very well to the characteristics of the circuit. And then take the lead of the group behind the two teams fighting for the World Championship.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during the race REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

“We also believe that Alpine, AlphaTauri and Aston Martin will be very competitive. The main objective on our side will be to express all the potential available and try to make the most of every opportunity.

“To use a footballing metaphor, we’ll try to play good defence and hit back,” he concluded.

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Can the two Scuderia drivers work together and plan a counter-attack?

In their first season as teammates, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have gotten along pretty well so far this season. The two have managed to get crucial points for the Marenell0-based team in their fight for the title.

The two have always finished in the top ten of a Grand Prix, which has helped them in the driver’s standings. Sainz with 38 and ahead of him is Leclerc with 40 points so far this season.

Their best finishing position so far has been in the top five. With Sainz coming in at 2nd at the Monaco GP, while Leclerc’s best finish has been in fourth place in venues such as Bahrain, Emilia, and Spain.


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Now as they prepare themselves for the sixth round of the championship, which takes place around the streets of Baku. With Sainz having secured Ferrari’s first podium this season despite being the new recruit, will they turn against each other?

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc arrive for testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

With the Azerbaijan GP just a few days away, we shall receive our answers soon enough. But how do you think the two drivers will utilize the strategy adopted by the Italian team? Let us know in the comment below.


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Arpit Gomes

491 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.