F1 News

Sainz analyses: 'There is still some performance to find'

Sainz analyses: 'There is still some performance to find'

17 March - 22:19 Last update: 17 March - 22:19


Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are cautiously optimistic about Ferrari' s performance ahead of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. In a press release on Friday, both drivers look back at the practice sessions and take a look ahead to the rest of the weekend.

Leclerc had a lousy start to the season. During qualifying for the first race, parts flew off his car, in the race itself he crashed out with an engine problem described by team boss Fred Vasseur as "something we've never seen before", and the resulting repairs have resulted in the Monegasque starting Sunday in Saudi Arabia with a ten-place grid penalty. So for Leclerc, practice was not necessarily about setting fast laps, but mainly about trying out different options for the race.

"We tested some new parts today and everything works as expected," Leclerc explained. "It’s difficult to get a sense of our competitiveness as everyone is on a different programme so far. The feeling in the car is pretty good. We will try to maximize our qualifying tomorrow, but given that we will have a 10 place grid penalty on Sunday, our main focus will be on making up those positions during the race."

'We are still missing some performance'

"It was an intense day here in Jeddah," Sainz added to his teammate's analysis. "This is a very unusual circuit with very peculiar characteristics which requires specific work to achieve a good balance. There is still some performance to find, but in general the car feels in the right window. Race pace was decent."

Sainz was still good for fourth place in the first race, but Leclerc's retirement means Ferrari has to beat not only Red Bull, but also Aston Martin and Mercedes. So for the Italian racing stable, the race in Jeddah will be crucial to show that it can still compete at the front.

Video player

More videos