“We return to reality, Monaco was an exception.” “The main objective on our part will be to squeeze all the potential at our disposal and try to take advantage of every opportunity. Por use the football metaphor, we will try to make a good defense and hit the counterattack ”. So much Charles Leclerc What Laurent Mekies, Ferrari’s sporting director, are anticipating that the Ferrari of Baku and that of Monaco will be very different. For the staff to assume it in advance.

Sainz, however, begins the weekend under the shock wave of his podium in the Principality. His first press conference was typical of someone who comes from a success in the previous grand prize. But the Spaniard confirmed to what extent he identified with that adage that indicates the second classified as the first of the losers. And like the rest of Ferrari, he is ready to play the counterattack this weekend. SF21 fears the longest straight in the championship.

“On Sunday I couldn’t enjoy it (the podium) as much as I probably should have,” explained Sainz at the official press conference “I was still quite upset about qualifying, and I couldn’t help but think about the missing first row, so had happened and by the circumstances. I felt like second place was not enough considering the pace we had over the weekend, but the podium guaranteed the team a good result. Then, as the days went by, I started to think about it and now I’m a little more proud. “Perhaps the reception that his team offered him in Maranello helped make up for.” It was very nice, I could see on everyone’s face that the Monegasque podium was a good stimulus and not only because of the result itself, but in general because of the speed we had throughout the weekend ”.

How to stand up to Leclerc

Sainz has surprised in these first races by his ability to stand up to Leclerc, although still with pending terrain in qualifying. The Spaniard was also reflecting on this process of adaptation to a new car that acquired particular prominence on a track as complicated as Monaco. “We are working well and it is working, I think there are still things to improve but, in general, there are no secrets. I spent and still spend a lot of time in Maranello, trying to understand every detail of the car, also because Charles is very fast in qualifying, so I try to understand what he does to get to that level of performance. ”

The Spanish pilot also explained -to where he wanted- the factors to articulate his adaptation process. “Formula 1 cars today are so complex and have so many parameters that the driver can do a lot to exploit the car. But, at the same time, if you don’t have the ability to adapt it is impossible,” putting the emphasis on his personal natural talent behind the wheel as a response to those who attribute their performance only to work capacity and ‘elbows’. “I have yet to change something in my style, it takes an open mind to allow me to change some things that maybe worked when I was at McLaren , but they work less at Ferrari. I need to change a couple of technical aspects of driving, but I can’t tell more. “

Sainz also elaborated on how the confrontation with Leclerc is forcing him to question that driving style. “It is very good less when on the track you stay at two or three tenths and you have to challenge yourself to find them, because you are forced to leave your comfort zone. Sometimes I thought it was going too fast, but then Charles takes a curve or a lap that takes you out of that comfort zone and you know that to find those tenths you will have to change your style a bit. ”

Deep two kilometers

Obviously, Sainz also adds to the forecasts of his colleagues for this weekend. Ferrari’s engine will be the drag on a track that, although very winding in part of the route, has the longest straight in the championship. Will Ferrari be able to compensate in the slow zones that the SF21 feels so good for that loss of speed on the straight? Here will reside the options of the Italian team and its pilots. “Although in Baku we are still on a street circuit, it has completely different characteristics from Monte Carlo. It is a difficult track with these long straights. I think we’re going deep for two kilometers. We know that top speed and acceleration are still a weak point for us, which puts us on the defensive this weekend. But, at the same time, if we can make the car work in the slow corners like we did in Monaco we can be quite competitive, although not like there, which was an exception, a special scenario, but we will try to score points this weekend and continue getting better”.

“In Baku we expect a very strong McLaren, which should adapt very well to the characteristics of this circuit, and assume the leadership of the group behind the first two (Red Bull and Mercedes)”, explained Laurent Mekies before starting, “We believe that also Alpine, AlphaTauri and Aston Martin will be very competitive”. Lando Norris took iron out of McLaren’s options before starting. Each one, throwing the ball out. Ferrari, to play it with the ‘catenaccio’ strategy.

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