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    Ahead at halftime

    São Paulo 13 novembre 2021

    Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow picked up a point in the Sprint Qualifying for the São Paulo Grand Prix, courtesy of a nice third place for Carlos Sainz. Charles Leclerc finished seventh. 

    Ahead at halftime. In footballing terms, the Scuderia ended the first half of this weekend one-nil up compared to its closest rivals thanks to one point scored by its Spanish driver. The lead over McLaren is now 14.5 points and tomorrow, while it’s true that Norris starts ahead of Charles, who lines up in the same grid position as today, Ricciardo lost three places compared to his grid position this afternoon. 

    All to play for in second half. There is still the matter of 71 laps to determine the outcome of this weekend and the race will be tough and intense on this difficult and tricky track. Obviously, the main aim is to consolidate third place in the Constructors’ championship. The engineers will now be working hard to prepare for the race, making the most of the experience gained over the past 24 hours. One unknown factor will be the weather as it is expected to be much hotter tomorrow than this afternoon. 

    Carlos Sainz #55

    "That was a very good Sprint Qualifying for me after one of my best starts of the season. I feel starts are one of my strengths, and I have been working a lot this year to nail them with this car. Going for the Soft tyre was a 50/50 choice. We knew they would be good for the first two or three laps but from then on tyre management and defense would be critical. I managed to find the right balance between pushing at the start and maintaining a stable pace after that. The slightest mistake and the Red Bull could have overtaken us easily as they had a much faster pace. It was very difficult to keep Checo behind, but I’m happy I managed it, because it gives us an extra point and a good opportunity tomorrow. The race will be tough, but I’ll try to keep up this pace and let’s see if we can hold on and bring home a good result."

    Charles Leclerc #16

    "We still have some work to do ahead of the race to understand why we could not reproduce the good pace that we had on the Mediums this morning. The Softs may have been a small advantage at the start, but we expected the Mediums to be better later on. Unfortunately, the temperatures dropped at one point and we started struggling, especially with the fronts. The race is tomorrow though, so our full focus is on that and we will work out where we can improve to fight our way up the order."

    Laurent Mekies, Racing Director

    "All in all, Sprint Qualifying went reasonably well for us, with one championship point to extend our third place advantage. Carlos drove a great race, starting with an incisive attack on the opening lap and then defending in fantastic fashion in his long duel with Perez, which went on for almost 20 laps. Thanks to a great job from the driver and the progress made with the car, especially since the introduction of the new hybrid system, he was able to stay ahead of a Red Bull that had the advantage of DRS and a tyre compound that in theory should have been better over distance. We decided to start Charles on the Medium and he also got off the line very well, but then he was not completely happy with the car and dropped one place down from his grid position. He will regain that for tomorrow’s start because another driver has a grid penalty. Now it’s down to us to improve the car so he can get the very best out of it. We can expect a very demanding race tomorrow but we are starting from a solid base in terms of our grid positions and the overall performance of the team and drivers. We have a clear goal for this final part of the season and we will do our utmost to achieve it."