Ferrari’s Sainz Insists He’s Not Slower Than ‘Qualifying Expert’ Leclerc at ‘Any Corner’

Published 04/18/2021, 3:32 AM EDT
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


The first rival in Formula One is always one’s teammate, as having the same car makes for easy comparison. This is exactly what is happening with Charles Leclerc, an expert during qualifying, and his teammate, Carlos Sainz. However, the latter believes that he is just as good as his teammate and is not slower than him at any corner.

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Leclerc ran an impressive race during quali which saw him secure fourth place at Ferrari’s home Grand Prix at Imola. The Spaniard, on the other hand, didn’t get the result he wanted in his second outing with the Maranello outfit. The 26-year-old only managed to qualify 11th, thus not making it into Q3.

Carlos Sainz sets his eye on matching Leclerc

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As quoted by Motorsportweek, Sainz stated, “I know he’s [Leclerc] a qualifying expert and, particularly in the Ferrari he seems to be really at home, knowing exactly what to expect from the car when it comes to Q2 and Q3, high grip conditions.

Sainz further added, “He’s an expert, a very, very good driver but at the same time if there’s something I’ve seen in these first two races, [it] is that I’m not slower than him in any corner.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 17, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during qualifying REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“I know that if I put the lap together I can be up there, so it’s now a matter of focusing on how to put those laps together, what does he do and what can I do to get better at putting those laps together.

“Maybe I just need more time and more experience. Let’s see, but I’m encouraged by what I see on the data, and it’s only a matter of time,” Sainz concluded.

Sainz hasn’t found the true potential of the Ferrari

This is just the Spaniard’s second race weekend with the Italian team. So, understandably, he hasn’t fully understood the car yet and is hoping to find the true power of the Ferrari beast soon.

Sainz said, “It was a bad day in the office for me. I felt quick all weekend but always felt like I couldn’t put the lap together. Qualifying exposed it. I was just a bit all over the place, never really being able to put a corner together during the whole lap.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 17, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in action during qualifying REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“I know I could have gone to Q3, but at the same time I think this track has exposed us a bit in that I still lack a bit of mileage, a bit of understanding from the car to exactly know what to expect and how to extract the absolute limit from it,” He concluded.

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The 26-year-old will hope that he achieves a better result at Imola today. In his second race for the Italian team, he aims to push his limits as he zips around the track.

Where do you think Carlos will finish in today’s race? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

322 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.

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