F1 Azerbaijan, Leclerc: "Last year the pole was a surprise. This year we have everything to win"

Inevitably, the Ferrari fans returned to the mistakes of Monte Carlo: “We understood what we did wrong and we will not do it again,” said Charles. “My strategy was right,” Sainz reiterated. And the two Carli have different ideas about the structure to be adopted in Baku …

Mario Salvini


Baku mission begins. Ferrari, scorned by the events and all the points lost between Barcelona and Monte Carlo, rolls up its sleeves and enters the second third of the championship determined to make a loot, possibly bigger than what Max Verstappen and all Red Bull will be able to put together . To trim the last few races all and their favor. But before putting one’s head on Azerbaijan and its traditional circuit incubator of crazy races, one inevitably returned to Monte Carlo and the mistakes of the Ferrari wall. It was inevitable. Charles Leclerc could not help but say: “We have learned so many lessons. After each race we analyze what happened and clearly in Monaco there was a lot to say because we made some mistakes. But what gives me confidence for the future is that we have found the reasons why we committed them. I won’t go into details but we have found the answers we were waiting for and this is positive news for the future ”.

Thinking back to Montecarlo

Interesting, if not surprising, is Carlos Sainz’s point of view. That he reiterated that he had the correct interpretation of what was happening in real time: “Of course, with hindsight we would have done some things differently. Not so much me, more the garage than anything else. For me it was a rather linear race, we got the strategy right. I was in the lead before everyone switched to slicks, I was the leader of the race at that point. But then for details like the pit stop that put Latifi behind me for two sectors, I lost the win. Maybe if I returned to the pits a lap earlier, I would have had more margin with Checo, but also a different traffic. If I had returned a lap later, I would have suffered Checo’s undercut. To win in Formula 1 you have to have everything in favor, you have to think about every detail and everything has to go well. It wasn’t like that, but I know I drove well and that I could have won ”.

Assets for baku

But now we turn the page. We enter the second third of the championship which begins with Baku. A track that, as we know, being in fact two tracks in one, with those long straights interspersed with ninety-degree bends and then with the slow sector of the old city, requires not easy compromises of layout. “There is always a balance to be found here,” confirms Sainz. However, the two Ferrari drivers have quite different ideas on the subject. “I think we can do well with both high and low loads,” continues Carlos. “Our simulations converge, and the lap time seems to be pretty much the same, choosing one road or the other. You have to take a direction and trust your instincts, trust is essential here, because you have to brake late and touch the walls. It is a great challenge for the drivers and for the teams. It’s a great track, I like it very much, it’s great for F1 to come here. ”

“We have everything to win”

Leclerc, on the other hand, is less of a possibility. “I’m sure everyone will have a low load, I would be surprised otherwise. We need to find out what our weak point will be after the first day. I’m sure we’ll lack some speed on the straight compared to Red Bull. Last year the pole position (conquered by him, ed) in qualifying did not fully respect our value, and in the race we returned to the position we deserved (closed fourth, his best finish in Baku, ed). This year we have a much more competitive car and I hope that if we get pole on Saturday, we can keep it on Sunday ”.

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