Sainz: Ferrari Displayed Its Real Potential at Canadian F1 GP

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Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who initially started in 10th and 11th positions after a challenging mixed-weather qualifying round, skillfully executed a one-stop strategy, advancing them to finish in the fourth and fifth places respectively.

Achieving the appropriate race strategy was not just a relief for the struggling team, but Ferrari demonstrated a notably improved race pace and steadiness in the dry Montreal race, particularly after their substantial struggles at the high-speed Barcelona circuit.

Sainz noted that the layout of the Canadian track allowed Ferrari to showcase its actual pace, which was significantly closer to that of the leading competitors.

He confirmed Ferrari’s improvement was track-specific when queried by F1, “I was confident that Canada would be a more suitable track, which was proven by our Friday pace. We were able to affirm that we perform stronger on a circuit with less degradation and slower speed corners. Today, we managed to present a bit more of our true pace.”

He further commented, “I felt that we would have had an enjoyable race at the front if we had a slightly better starting position. But we exhibited solid pace and strategy.”

He added, “I am eager to see how we perform on the high-speed circuits as we head back to Austria and Silverstone next.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Andy Hone / F1 Flow Images

However, Leclerc warned that their strong performance on Montreal’s cooler, low-downforce Circuit Gilles Villeneuve could turn out to be a fleeting success if Ferrari fails to maintain its newly-acquired consistency in the upcoming races leading up to the summer break.

Leclerc responded cautiously when asked by F1 about Ferrari’s improved tyre management, “I wouldn’t make any hasty statements because tyre management today wasn’t a significant issue for anyone. This track is very distinctive, so I will reserve judgment until Austria, where I hope to verify our improvements.”

Both Ferraris chose to remain on the track during an early safety car deployment, providing them the opportunity to break free from the midfield DRS train.

Leclerc added, “We opted to stay on the track during the initial safety car, which I believe was a wise strategy. I think we managed the race well today overall: tyre management, strategy.”

“The car’s performance felt more promising than earlier this season, at least for me, so it’s a positive sign. However, finishing fourth is not our ultimate goal. We aspire to compete for the top positions again.”

Additional reporting by Jake Boxall-Legge

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