Both drivers openly admitted that they won’t be as fast as they were on the streets of Monaco and Azerbaijan, with Leclerc taking pole position in both races and Sainz finishing on the podium in Monaco.
Leclerc muscled his way into the top five in the standings in FP2, and Sainz also believes the team have potential to fight – but maybe not at the front of the grid on this occasion.
“The feeling with the car has been actually decent,” the Spaniard said after FP2. “The problem is that we know that coming into this layout, this kind of track, we were not going to be as good as in Baku or Monaco.
“So we’re a bit back to reality, but at the same time, pleased to see that the car balance is not too far away.”
🇫🇷 Busy Friday at Paul Ricard. It was quite tricky with the wind, with headwind on the straights and tailwind on the corners. The car felt decent, so we’ll try to extract the maximum tomorrow!
— Carlos Sainz (@Carlossainz55) June 18, 2021
Leclerc echoed Sainz’s sentiments, believing that a few tweaks to the setup of the car will put the team in a good place to show their mettle in the congested midfield fight.
While the Monegasque driver was struggling to get on top of the unpredictability of the wind around Paul Ricard, he believes Ferrari are competing where they thought they would be going into the weekend.
“Overall with the car balance, it’s been a very difficult day for everyone I think,” Leclerc said.
“The wind is very, very strong so it makes it quite tricky to drive. But it’s like this for everyone, so we just need to try and find a way around it.
“I think in FP2 it was a little bit better,” added Leclerc, who claimed those pole positions for Ferrari in Monaco and Baku.
“But let’s say it’s say that it’s just more in line with what we expected here.
“I think Baku and Monaco were two weekends that were much better than what we expected and now we are a bit more in line with what we expected.
“There’s still quite a bit of work to do, but we did quite a nice recovery from FP1, the car felt quite a bit better, so I’m happy with this.”
“For tomorrow, it will be very important tyre-wise to try and put them in the right window because it’s very difficult here and with the wind also, to have the right set-up, a car that is easy to drive for the quali lap when we have to put everything together, will be very important too.
“So once we have put these three things together, I’m pretty sure that we can have a good weekend.”
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