Carlos Sainz says Ferrari needs to draw confidence from how well it performed as a team in last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
The Spaniard scored his first podium with Ferrari when he finished second to Max Verstappen, but felt he had the pace for pole position and could have won the race. Pole went to his teammate Charles Leclerc before a crash at the end of Q3 caused damage to a driveshaft that only manifested itself on the way to the grid, preventing Leclerc from starting. But Sainz said the form of both cars all weekend shows Ferrari got things right in a number of different departments.
“I think it is a combination of factors,” Sainz said. “We need to take into account the peculiarities of the circuit, we had a car that was performing well in the low speed before coming here, but it was not performing as good as we all saw on Thursday. When I left the box I felt a lot of confidence in the car, the team nailed the set-up for Thursday, that gave me confidence, and when Charles jumped in the car in FP2 he was on it straight away, which is a very positive.
“We managed to switch on the tires very well, so the tire department did a good job, we managed to generate downforce on a high-downforce circuit, and we were also quite competitive in the little straights that there were.
“It is a combination of factors that join together, to be able to fight for pole position and the win, the whole team needs to be proud of it and the whole team needs to take some self-confidence from this weekend to know everyone is working on the right direction and pushing well and are all improving as a team.”
However, Sainz also believes the Monaco form could be a one-off due to the lack of similar circuits, which is why he was so frustrated to miss out on the chance to be on pole.
“Just look at the characteristics of Monaco circuit and look at the ones close to this,” he said. “You will not find many, and even (at) those (it) doesn’t mean we will be fighting for pole or the podium. Mercedes and Red Bull, I believe, still have an advantage on us and it will be very tricky to be finding ourselves fighting for the pole or win.
“That’s why this weekend is also a bit of a tough one to swallow, as you don’t know when the next chance will come. But we need to take pride at the steps forwards and how competitive the car has been.
“It is not easy to be quick around Monaco, and the fact me and Charles were so quick, it is down to the good performance of the team and how everything has been working.”