Leclerc will be "extremely thrilled" if Sainz converts his advantage into his first F1 victory, while the Monegasque believes the team's aim is a 1-2 finish.
At Silverstone, Carlos Sainz won the pole position for the first time in the series by 0.072 seconds over the reigning champion Max Verstappen, who was hindered by yellow flags on his penultimate lap. They has been started by Leclerc, the third-fastest driver, who had spun out of Chapel turn on his final flying run after hitting some standing water. Leclerc has won the Bahrain and Australian Grands Prix. Leclerc will be “extremely thrilled” if Sainz converts his advantage into his first F1 victory, while the Monegasque believes the team’s aim is a 1-2 finish. As a result, he hinted that the Ferrari pit wall could meddle with “strategic measures.”
“Of course, I’ll be very glad if Carlos wins the race,” Leclerc said, adding that he “didn’t deserve to be on pole. But I’m not going to hide that I want to win too. I think what is most important is that we finish 1-2, whatever way around it is. If we can play strategic moves in between the cars, I’m pretty sure that we will. I feel confident with the car, so let’s wait and see.”
Having lost out in the high speed corners during the Saturday FP3 run, Sainz enters the race hoping to regain the vehicle balance he had in second practice on Friday. The Spaniard driver was taken aback by his pole position, in part because a mistaken delta in Q3 left him dubious of his pace and in part because he ran out of battery going into the Stowe turn. Sainz supported Leclerc and acknowledged the Scuderia pair will team up to defeat Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, who will start fourth, in the race.
“I agree. I think we will work as a team, like we’ve done all season. “I’m pretty sure that between Charles and me, we can put up a battle with Max and obviously not forgetting about Sergio, who will be also attacking. “They were very quick in FP3 so I think if we can work [together], we can achieve a 1-2.” Sainz said.
Despite the “excellent performance,” Ferrari team manager Mattia Binotto stated that the race will provide a ” different image” than qualifying and he “no notion” regarding the best set of tyres or pitstop strategies. Speaking to Sky, he asserted that the championship was still in play despite the fact that Red Bbull entered the race having won the previous six races and that ” reliability is an issue” following Leclerc’s retirements in Spain and Baku.
He said: “They won seven races [this season], [we] only two. But there are a few races where we were leading, and we had a reliability issue, so I think it could have been easy a 5-4 or a 4-5. The battle is very tight… there is still many races to do.”