Sainz: ‘A matter of time’ until I’m as fast as Leclerc

Date published: April 28 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Looking at data, Carlos Sainz is confident that it’s only “a matter of time” until he’s as quick as team-mate Charles Leclerc.

Sainz has made a steady start to life at Ferrari, finishing in P8 in Bahrain and P5 in Imola to score a total of 14 points from the first two rounds.

However, he has yet to beat Leclerc on either a Saturday or a Sunday, with the Monegasque again looking like one of the best on the grid in terms of outright pace.

He’s confident that it won’t be long before he’s as fast as the other Ferrari though, and says the data backs him up.

“I know he’s a qualifying expert, and especially in the Ferrari he seems to feel very comfortable and knows exactly what to expect from the car when it comes to Q2 and Q3 with high grip. He’s an expert in that,” the Spaniard said as per motorsport-total.com.

“But at the same time in the first two races, I saw that I am not slower than him in any of the corners. So I know that if I can get my laps together perfectly, I can be up there too.

“Now the point is to focus on it to concentrate on perfecting these laps, to see what he’s doing and what I can do to get better. Maybe I just need a little more time and more experience.

“So we’ll see, but I’m encouraged by what I see in the data and it’s more of a matter of time for me.”

Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari merchandise is available via the official Formula 1 store

He may have crossed the line in P5 just over a second behind Leclerc in Imola, but it was far from the perfect race for Sainz.

In the early stages with rain making the track conditions tricky, he went off on multiple occasions and had poor pace compared to his team-mate.

He says that he was misjudging the kerbs, and feels that cutting out such errors is how he can get quicker going forward.

“I was surprised a couple of times in the chicanes because I caught the kerb at a different angle and that put me out of position,” he said.

“There are very long straights after the kerbs, and that made me miss a tenth or two on the straight after.

“Basically, that’s what I’m talking about: knowing how the car is going to react to which angle, and being super precise in the angle of attack to know that on the next straight I’m not going to lose the one and a half tenths that I just made up.

“I’m pretty sure where that lap time is and how to get it out.”

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