Carlos Sainz has revealed why his team-mate Charles Leclerc was faster than him in the last race at Imola but believes he understands what it’s all about and that he can get a few more tenths out of the car in key qualifying moments.
Sainz had a solid start in Ferrari with eighth and fifth place in the first two races, but Leclerc was much faster on both weekends in key qualifying moments, especially in Imola where Sainz failed to qualify in Q3 while Leclerc, as in the first race in Bahrain, was fourth.
Leclerc won as many as seven pole positions in his first season at Ferrari in 2019, unlike his teammate Vettel, who won only two and in the middle of the season inflicted as many as nine consecutive qualifying defeats from France to Russia.
Sainz is aware of how strong Leclerc is in qualifying, and after qualifying at Imola he looked back at the details that currently make the difference. “I know he’s a qualifying expert, and at Ferrari, he looks especially at home and knows exactly what to expect from a car when Q2 and Q3 come in high grip conditions,” Sainz said.
"He is an expert on that. And he is a very, very good driver. ” “But at the same time, if I’ve seen anything in these first two races it’s the fact that I’m not slower than him in any of the turns.
That's why I know that if I connect the circle properly, I can be there. "
Sainz was 0.008 s faster than Leclerc in Q1 in Imola, but in the second part of the qualifiers, Leclerc was third while Sainz was only 11th with 0.391 seconds behind his teammate which cost him a pass in Q3.
"Today it may have been driving over curbs, how the car reacts to curbs, depending on the angle at which I attack the curb." "Several times I was surprised in all these chicanes when I grabbed the curb at a different angle and ended up out of the way."
"There are very long routes hereafter those curbs and I missed a tenth or two on the routes because of that." "That's what I'm talking about, about knowing how the car will react to which angle and being super precise with the angle of attack and knowing that in the next direction."
"I still have to do some analysis, but I'm pretty sure I know where the time lies around the circle and I know how to get it out."