Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies says that the team’s plan for Baku is to adopt a counter-attacking strategy.
After a disastrous 2020 campaign, the Italian team have made a comparatively excellent start to 2021, fighting McLaren for P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
The highlight came last time out in Monte Carlo as Charles Leclerc took pole position in qualifying before Carlos Sainz finished in P2 to secure their first podium of the year.
Throughout the weekend there, they had the upper hand on the rest of the midfield in terms of pace and were closer to the front two of Mercedes and Red Bull.
Afterwards, though, Sainz suggested that their high level there was a one-off.
“I think we have to take the special features of the track into account,” said the Spaniard.
“Even before we went there, we had a car that ran very well in the lower rev range. We managed to generate the necessary downforce. We were also pretty competitive on the short straights there, so it’s a combination of factors that come together.
“I think Mercedes and Red Bull still have an advantage over us and it will be very tricky fighting against them for pole position and victory.
“So it was a little hard to swallow at the weekend because you don’t know when the next chance will come.”
Mekies agrees with the driver and doesn’t expect them to remain that strong going forward.
Because of that, he says in Baku for the next round, they’ll be taking a counter-attacking approach.
“This is the start of a difficult part of the season for us,” Mekies said via the Italian branch of Motorsport.com.
“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.
“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.”