Charles Leclerc already said it after the Sprint Shootout: Ferrari is all focused on Sunday’s race. The sprint race was a side issue for the Scuderia, but the Monegasque still intervened in the debates at the front of the field. Leclerc rose from seventh to fifth place and can look back on a ‘well-managed’ session.
However, the start could have been better for Leclerc and Ferrari. For a while it seemed like it would be a long sprint race for the so-called crown prince of the Italian racing stable, but the fact that Lewis Hamilton was struggling with the same problem played very well into the hands of the Monegasque. ‘We had a hard time with the temperature of our tires. I had to constantly lift and coast to keep it down. That caused us to fall behind.’
It soon became clear that Hamilton’s W14 was rapidly losing grip. Leclerc took advantage and took the scalp of the former world champion. ‘We recovered well and were able to attack Lewis in the final phase of the race. That was positive,” the 25-year-old was quoted as saying by Viaplay. ‘All in all it was a tricky race. Now we have to focus on Sunday’s race. That will be a completely different story.’
‘You can always learn, but…’
Despite the tire problems, the last Sprint of the season went smoothly for Leclerc and so he said there was not much room for improvement heading into Sunday. ‘You can always learn more, but if you manage a race as well as today, you cannot make much progress. We will look at every little detail to start the race in the best possible way and hopefully keep our second place. That would be fantastic.’ Leclerc clearly does not look at the man in pole position, although he will undoubtedly want to make it difficult for Max Verstappen entering turn one.
Verstappen can take his seventeenth win of the season this weekend in Brazil. Also betting on F1? Register now at JACKS and receive 60 euros in free bets! If you play responsibly, you keep it fun. What does gambling cost you? Stop on time, 18+