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Charles and Carlos: “Keen to try Sprint Qualifying”

Silverstone 15 July 2021

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz arrived in the Silverstone paddock for the start of what is bound to be a different weekend to usual. “I like to try something new now and again,” maintained Charles, speaking to the journalists at today’s FIA press conference “and I’m keen to try the new Sprint Qualifying format. In fact, every day this weekend there’s an important session: on Friday we’ll have the usual qualifying, on Saturday the 100 kilometre race and on Sunday the Grand Prix. I’d say it’s going to be a busy weekend.” “It will be important to make the most of tomorrow morning’s only free practice session, as we will have to prepare for qualifying that decides the grid for the race on Saturday afternoon,” added Carlos Sainz. “In Maranello, we have had several meetings to plan for this weekend, involving the whole team and I’m interested to see how the difference track sessions will actually work out.”

A popular but difficult track. Both drivers clearly like the Silverstone circuit: I’d say it's one of my favourites, because it has so many high speed corners, some of them legendary, like Copse and the sequence of three at Maggots, Becketts and Chapel,” said Charles. “However, I think that, like in Paul Ricard, this won’t be an easy race for us.” “It’s a front limited track,” affirmed Carlos. “And on this type of circuit, we have struggled so far, suffering with heavy front tyre degradation. We tried various solutions after France, but I’m worried we might also face this type of problem here.”

Lunch at Maranello. On Tuesday, Charles and Carlos were at the re-opening of the Cavallino Restaurant, which was also attended by several former Scuderia drivers, including Jacky Ickx, Jody Scheckter, Rene Arnoux and Gerhard Berger. “It's a lovely venue and a historic place,” said Leclerc. “It was nice to meet so many guys from the old guard and hear their stories about Formula 1.” Carlos also appreciated the food. “Unfortunately, we had work to do and could only stay for less than an hour, but what I tasted in that short time was excellent, I had a really nice time.”

Unfounded rumours. In addition, Charles denied rumours linking him to a rival team. “It’s just gossip,” he said. “Maybe someone was bored and came up with something. I firmly believe in the people who make up the Scuderia and I have embraced this project. Next year will see us start from scratch with completely new regulations and I will tackle this new era at the wheel of a Ferrari.”