Leclerc copied Sainz set-up to improve Monza performance

Charles Leclerc has earned a reputation for phenomenal qualifying performances in Formula 1, well-earned by his impressive Pole record. With that said, the Monegasque hasn’t found his best form in the SF-23 this weekend.

Sainz claimed a brilliant Pole Position in Monza after topping the timing sheets on a regular basis in Free Practice.

The Spaniard explained on Friday that he was encouraged by Ferrari’s early pace in a circuit that generally suits the SF-23’s characteristics.

Although the 29-year-old competes against a brilliant qualifier in Charles Leclerc, he proved again that his own skills deserve to be respected.

The ‘Predestinato’ recognised his teammate’s pace after FP3, revealing to Lawrence Barretto that he used Sainz’s set-up to unlock more performance.

Speaking directly after qualifying, Leclerc provided an honest review:

“On my side, I’m a bit disappointed. I obviously wanted to be first, but seeing that Carlos is P1 is great for Ferrari. He has done an incredible job all weekend.

“I’ve been struggling quite a bit more in FP1, FP2, FP3. In qualifying, I managed to put everything together, so I was really happy,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, in Q3, I didn’t have a slipstream, and this cost us one position at least, but it’s fine.

“We should be happy, especially on my side. I’ve been struggling a lot… We will try to do a first and second with Carlos.”

Such difficulties are normal for a driver to experience throughout a season, especially in a Ferrari car notorious for its unpredictability.

In any case, Turn 1 will provide plenty of opportunities for the Italian outfit, who could complicate Verstappen’s afternoon with a strong launch off the line.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will hope that the SF-23 can manage its tyres over a race distance.

If this traditional weakness is not addressed, Red Bull’s superior performance and tyre longevity could prove the Scuderia’s kryptonite

The Austrian team claims their set-up is prioritised for the Grand Prix, so Sunday’s 53 laps at the Temple of Speed will put Ferrari to the test.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang