Leclerc’s defense on Sainz at the start gave away two places

Leclerc’s defense on Sainz at the start gave away two places
Leclerc’s defense on Sainz at the start gave away two places

“It doesn’t help,” was Ferrari’s conclusion after reviewing an exit in which Leclerc did so much to defend himself from Sainz that he forgot the interior and gave two positions to Hulkenberg and Russell. It came a day after the Monegasque’s complaints about Carlos’s defense in the sprint. But the Spaniard was not openly critical on the radio or before the Press, on the contrary, so Charles’s maneuver will not open the digital channels in Italy.

In any case, the team leaves China with a worse result than what they had achieved in the four previous races in 2024. After three consecutive podiums and a double, Leclerc was fourth and Sainz, fifth. The SF-24 gave way to McLaren and Norris occupied the podium spot that until now had been red. Fred VasseurFerrari’s ‘main team’, points to classification as the first problem (they came out sixth and seventh) and also to the indecipherable asphalt of Shanghai.

AS consulted him directly about the exit. “It doesn’t help to lose two positions at the start. But we were behind Pérez and Norris at the start and we finished equally behind them. If we were missing something in this race it was more the last ‘stint’. We didn’t have any luck with the timing of the pit-stops. Carlos stopped three or four laps before the virtual safety car, and then the safety car, and was a little worried about doing such a long stunt afterwards. He was conservative at the beginning, but he managed to manage the tires well,” he explained to this medium.

“We lacked something, mainly grid position. So something was missing on Saturday. Later, in the race, with the hard tire we had a little less performance compared to the medium, which was under control,” says the French leader, who is also not concerned about the apparent step forward of McLaren, or Norris: ” We know that the group is very tight, There are six or seven cars in a tenth in qualifying, between second and ninth. When you start further back the race is more difficult even if you are faster, because you have dirty air and damage the tires. It’s hard to make a full weekend, We made many mistakes collectively.”

“It’s a matter of half a tenth or a tenth. In Melbourne we finished the race eight seconds ahead in 60 laps, that means we are a tenth faster. And in China we were a tenth slower. They did a better job. The situation does not change greatly between circuits, but in this case it was very difficult to understand the asphalt. We are talking about a tenth, no more,” he clarifies to AS. In Miami, next week, the Ferrari can once again get closer to the fight for victory.

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