The Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are hesitant to target a win at the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, countering team principal Mattia Binotto’s joke of dominating the race.
The Hungaroring’s slight similarities to Monaco – where Leclerc qualified on pole position and both Ferrari drivers showed threatening pace for potential victory – led to Binotto being asked if a win was a target for the final race before the mid-season break. After Leclerc came so close to holding onto the lead at Silverstone, Binotto jokingly replied “Not the win, the 1-2!”
However, Leclerc believes expectations need to be kept in check.
“Yeah, I mean it’s good to be optimists and we all want to be optimists after the last three races but on the other hand we need to be realistic,” Leclerc said. “Of course it is good, and we are in a good mood but I feel like going for the win in Budapest might be a bit optimistic. I will be happy if we are just behind the two top teams.”
Sainz believes Hungary and Monaco are not actually all that similar given the way modern cars perform at the Hungaroring, and thinks the best Ferrari can aim for is to lead the midfield battle behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
“Budapest has become recently a high-speed track with these cars,” Sainz said. “If you look at Monaco (and) Baku, there are several low-speed corners. Budapest now with these high downforce cars, you have a middle sector that you are fourth, fifth gear all the time, so it’s not a pure low speed track like it was in the past.
“I don’t think it’s going to be such a good track for us. I do think it’s a good opportunity to be right behind Red Bull and Mercedes but we see from data that these guys are still – as we saw on the hards (tire compound) with Lewis (at Silverstone) – that they have a bit more pace than us and that they should be ahead in Hungary.”