Carlos Sainz says Ferrari found the pace they lacked during the Belgian Grand Prix. The Spaniard believes that although Mercedes and Red Bull have not yet managed to show their fast laps, the Italian team is very close to them this weekend in Zandvoort.
On the first day of the weekend, the drivers had to adjust to the new track as quickly as possible. Formula 1 has not been raced in Zandvoort since 1985, and many drivers have never tested this track before. In addition, the red flags (three) were in the spotlight during yesterday’s free practice, so drivers had to adapt to the track in record time.
Carlos Sainz says the first day of the weekend on the new track was extremely exciting for him as they learned about a lap they didn’t race on. "I love the track. It was a different Friday, learning about a new track, learning to ride in corners we hadn’t raced on before, experimenting with different lines.
Of the 22 or 23 races we have, it's always nice to have a different Friday, ”says the Ferrari driver. The Italian team showed a great pace during the free practice sessions; Sainz finished in the top 3 in both sessions, and in the second free practice the drivers from Maranello took the best positions first and second place.
The Spanish driver believes Ferrari has found a pace they couldn’t reach last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, but he knows some teams have failed to show their full potential. "We have a pace, certainly more than in Spa-Francorchamps.
I think Mercedes and Red Bull are faster, especially if you look at the race simulation you can see that the red flag in the middle of the session did not allow them a good lap on the soft (tires), "explained the Ferrari driver.
“Lando is also very fast with McLaren, so I expect a fight with them." "Unfortunately for Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull, they will still be ahead, but we may be closer on this track than has been the case lately," Sainz continued.
Expecting qualifications, which will be crucial for the race, because in such a tight lap overtaking can be a big challenge. Although he does not expect Monaco, he claims that he will try to reduce the gap in order to better position himself for the race.
"I would not expect 'Monaco' here. We will try to continue to reduce the gap in order to position ourselves as close as possible, "he said at the end.