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Charles and Carlos: “The objective is to fight at the front of the midfield”

Budapest 29 July 2021

Hot weather mitigated by a light breeze welcomed Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to the paddock at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers were among the first to meet the media in the usual FIA press conference.

Special track. Charles immediately outlined the objective for the weekend: “I’d say the Hungaroring is not one of my favourite tracks, because overtaking is difficult and the slightest mistake has a major effect on your lap time, given that the track is only just over four kilometres long. However, it should suit our car and so I hope we can be at the front of the mid-field.” The Monegasque driver then gave his impression of the first half of the season, in terms of the work done on the car and regarding the relationship with his new team-mate. “I think it’s obvious that we have made a lot of progress compared to last year,” he affirmed. “And that’s down to the entire team, both at the track and back in Maranello. Carlos and I have worked closely together to help develop the SF21 in all areas. We are both very competitive and we try and beat one another, but always in the best interests of the team.”

Heading to the summer break. Carlos quite likes the Hungaroring. “It’s demanding because of the temperatures that can be very high and also from the point of view of set-up, it's not easy to find the ideal balance right away, because at first, the track is very dirty and it improves a lot the more the cars run.” The Spaniard is hoping for a strong Sunday prior to the break. “I think there’s a chance we could head into the holidays feeling good, because we should be able to fight at the front of the mid-field group and maybe even aim for a podium finish, if there’s a lot going on in the race. It will be very important to not make any mistakes, as the gaps will be very close.” Finally, Carlos was also asked for his assessment of the first half of his first season with the Scuderia. “I am pleased with how it’s gone so far. Considering qualifying, pit stops, the races, tyre management and overtaking, for my part I’ve made good progress since the first race. I am confident that, in the second part of the season, we will see a more consistent and overall even better Carlos.”

Programme. There are two hours of free practice tomorrow, one at 11.30 and the other at 15 local time. On Saturday, qualifying starts at 15, preceded by the final 60 minutes of free practice at 12. The 36th Hungarian Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday at 3pm.