Leclerc: "The fight for victory in Budapest would be a bit too optimistic"
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Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are not sure if they will be able to fight for victories in the next race of the championship in Hungary after a great performance in Monaco and in the last race held at Silverstone where Leclerc finished second.
After the great speed that Ferrari showed on the two street tracks in Monaco and Azerbaijan, where Leclerc won two consecutive pole positions, Hungary was supposed to be (on paper) the track that would suit their SF21 best by the end of the season.
The reason is mostly slow corners on the Hungaroring and lack of long straights, which hides weaknesses and highlights the virtues of the Ferrari SF21, but also an unexpectedly good release on the fast Silverstone where Leclerc almost won and led in 49 of 52 laps.
But Leclerc isn’t sure Ferrari in Hungary will be so good again and says they would be happy to be the best of the mid-team again, behind Red Bull and Mercedes. “It’s good to be an optimist and I think we all want that after such a good performance in the last three races,” Leclerc told Autosport.
"But on the other hand, we have to be realistic. We are in a good mood, but I think the fight for victory in Budapest would be a bit too optimistic. " "Realistically, I think we'll be happy if we're right behind the top two teams."
Sainz achieved his best result of the season in Monaco when Leclerc could not start from the pole position due to a late failure on the drive axle, and he is also cautious about Ferrari's chances for Hungaroring.
“Budapest has recently become a medium-fast to fast track with these cars,” Sainz said. "If you look at Monaco and Baku there are mostly corners in second and third gear, but Budapest today, with these insanely high levels of downforce, has a middle sector where you're constantly in fourth or fifth gear." "So it's not as slow as it used to be." “I don’t think it’s going to be such a good track for us, but I think it’s a great opportunity to be right behind Red Bull and Mercedes.
Downforce is still the most important, and we can see from the data that they are still ahead. ” "As we saw in the last race on hard tires, Lewis had a bit more speed than us and should be ahead and in Hungary." After ten races this season, Ferrari is in fourth place in the constructors' standings, 15 points behind McLaren.