Carlos Sainz gave himself a nice birthday present by finishing the opening day of the Grand Prix weekend in Italy as fastest. After a difficult weekend in Zandvoort, the SF-23 seems to be behaving properly again on the Monza circuit. The Spaniard is confident of a good result in Ferrari’s home race, but he expects Red Bull to be too fast for the Scuderia again.
Friday in Monza could hardly have gone better for Sainz. In the morning the Spaniard was allowed to blow out 29 more candles and later in the day he came out with a second place in FP1 and P1 in the second session. “It can’t get much better than this,” the Ferrari driver told F1TV. “It was a smooth day and it’s good to be back at Monza.”
But Sainz was especially happy that the SF-23 behaved a lot better than during the disappointing GP weekend in Zandvoort for Ferrari. ‘It was nice to notice from the first lap in FP1 that the car behaved normally again after the difficult weekend in Zandvoort. From the moment we hit the track, for some reason the car adapted a lot better and it was a lot easier to set up. It doesn’t mean we’ll finish P1 tomorrow and in the race, but at least the feeling is much better,” says a relieved Sainz.
Dreaming of a special result
After a strong start, the Italian fans will probably hope for a resounding result on Sunday. But how realistic is that? ‘Dreaming is always allowed, right? That is one of my favorite sayings. Especially on a track like Monza, I think we can all dream. No one can forbid us to do that,” Sainz says, then continues in a more serious tone. “But if we are honest and also look at our race pace, we see that Red Bull has a better pace. They were again half a second faster in race trim and over more than fifty laps that is a big difference,” said Sainz.
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