Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc says he and his team are expected to return to reality in the next race in Baku after a surprisingly good performance in Monaco, where they fought for victory for the first time this season.
Leclerc won his first pole position this season and Ferrari’s first pole position after the 2019 Mexico Grand Prix but had no chance of trying to turn it into a win after a late-discovered half-axle malfunction while his teammate Sainz finished second behind Verstappen.
Ahead of an unusual street track in Baku, which combines slow corners like those in Monaco and a fast flat section at the end of the third and beginning of the first sector, Leclerc lowers expectations and says Ferrari expects a return to competitiveness before the Monaco GP.
“I think we’re going to get back to reality, Monaco was an exception, we fought for the win, which was amazing and very nice to motivate the whole team,” Leclerc said. "But now, with long routes and generally higher speeds, despite a lot of slow corners, I believe we will return to the normal level of competitiveness we had before Monaco."
“We think our aerodynamics is pretty strong when it comes to how much downforce we have on the car, so in slow corners the combination of chassis and aerodynamics works really well. The balance is also very good in slow corners which helps us so the combination of things makes us very good on slow tracks.
” "In Monaco, we were even stronger in slow corners than in slow corners on all previous tracks, so there's probably something else we need to understand." "But as I said, Monaco is an exception and we shouldn't get too carried away."
Singapore as the second-best chance in 2021. Leclerc believes the slow street track in Singapore is the best remaining opportunity for Ferrari this season due to the large number of slow corners that match the SF21. Recall, no races were held in Monaco or Singapore last year where SF1000 would probably show above-average performance.
"If we look at the calendar, I think Singapore would probably be the most similar to Monaco." "But whether we will be competitive or not, I don't know. The conditions are significantly different, it is very humid.
And it's a lot warmer. But if we look at the characteristics of the track, I think Singapore is the closest to Monaco. ”