Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is looking forward to the last sprint weekend of the season. The Monegasque often does well in the sprint weekends, and team boss Frédéric Vasseur also hopes that Ferrari can once again catch up with a number of points on Mercedes, which currently holds second place among the constructors.
In a press release from Ferrari, Leclerc looks ahead to the twentieth Grand Prix of the season: ‘In Brazil we have the last sprint weekend of the season. These are always very special weekends, in which it is important to feel comfortable in the car immediately in the first free practice, because there is not much time to properly set up the car,” says the 26-year-old, who has two of took his three podium places in 2023 in sprint weekends.
However, Leclerc did not yet finish on the podium at Interlagos. ‘It is a very special and historic circuit, and it is of course the land of the one and only Ayrton Senna. I have always been a big fan of Ayrton, and he will always remain a legend. I really enjoy this circuit, it has a lot of character, especially with those long curbs next to the circuit. They feel very nice when you are racing.’
Vasseur about battle with Mercedes
Team boss Vasseur also took part in the preview at the São Paulo Grand Prix. ‘It’s time for the final part of the American triple header, in which we get the final sprint race, the third in four Grand Prix weekends. In the previous two weekends we did great in qualifying, taking pole position both times with Charles, and taking the entire front row of the grid last Sunday.’
Ferrari could not enjoy those starting places for long: in Austin and Mexico City, Leclerc lost the lead at the first corner to Lando Norris and Max Verstappen respectively. ‘However, in the races it is clear that we are still too vulnerable. Still, we took two podium places and scored more points than the others in the fight for second place in the championship. We are still 22 points behind, so it will be a tough task.’
However, Mercedes won in São Paulo in 2021 and 2022, and is considered a contender again this year, Vasseur knows. ‘We are going to do our best again in Brazil. “Mercedes will certainly be very competitive, but we have to focus on our own performance and improve in every area, especially in terms of tire management and race strategy.”