Charles Leclerc looks back with a good feeling on the first day in Monza. The Ferrari driver is particularly pleased with the behavior of the SF-23 in the longer runs and that bodes well for Sunday’s race. However, he is not yet completely satisfied with the balance of his car in the shorter runs, although Leclerc indicates that he knows exactly how he can improve this for the rest of the weekend. The Monegask hopes to give the Tifosi a good result on Sunday, but he does not say what result he is thinking about.
The Italian Grand Prix is a very special one for the Ferrari drivers. Nowhere else is the pressure to perform as great as in Monza, but both Carlos Sainz and Leclerc showed their best on the opening day of the Italian race weekend. Sainz even finished at the top of the times list and Leclerc’s 1:21.716 was eventually good for the sixth fastest time. Leclerc was not completely satisfied with the short runs afterwards, but the race pace was encouraging.
“With a lot of fuel on board it went very well, but I struggled a bit more in the short runs,” Leclerc told F1TV. “But I think we know what to do for Saturday. I chose a slightly different direction and I think tomorrow we should focus a bit more on the short runs because we struggled a bit more with the balance of the car during these runs.’
ATA ensures appropriate preparation
This weekend, after the first test in Hungary, is the second time that Formula 1 uses the ATA, or Alternative Tire Allocation. This means that the drivers will receive not thirteen, but only eleven sets of tires from Pirelli, with the hard tire to be used in Q1, the medium tire to be used in Q2 and the soft rubber to be used in Q3. The above changes provide a different approach and Leclerc explains what the ATA means for his program during the weekend in Monza.
“So in FP1 we only raced with one set of tires and normally we use two. So we were able to drive less representative laps’, explains Leclerc. ‘In FP2 it was actually the same, because we saved one set. Saturday VT3 will also be a bit different, because we will have a set of tires less than normal. We will then use one of the sets we used today. So you have to adapt. You have fewer new sets of tyres, so you have less preparation for qualifying. And in Q1 we have to qualify on the hard tire and we only used it once and then on the medium and we also only used it once. So it will be interesting. We have a lesser preparation for qualifying, but a better one for the race.’
Leclerc hopes to give Tifosi a good result
After a great Friday, Leclerc is looking forward to the rest of the weekend in good spirits. He hopes to repay the Italian fans for their support. “It’s always special here. Even in a difficult year, they are there to encourage us and put a smile on our faces. Hopefully on Sunday it will be their turn to be happy after a good result from both Carlos and myself,” said Leclerc, who does not say what result he thinks of. “It looked good today, so I hope for a good result on Sunday,” he concludes.
Verstappen can take his tenth victory in a row this weekend! Do you also bet on F1? Register now at JACKS and receive 60 euros in free bets! When you play responsibly, you keep it fun. What does gambling cost you? Stop on time, 18+