Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were the centre of attention this morning, when they arrived in the Monza paddock. They were sporting the new special Giallo Modena clothing collection, produced specially for this Italian Grand Prix in the year that coincides with the 75th anniversary of the founding of Ferrari back in 1947 as well as celebrating 100 years since the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza was built. The F1-75 will also have splashes of yellow in its livery for this race. Naturally, the intention is to have a great celebration in red…and yellow, although on paper, this track is not best suited to this year’s car. The crowd might help the team step up a gear, filling the grandstands after a two year break.
Atmosphere. Charles is enjoying what is a unique atmosphere at Monza when one drives for Scuderia Ferrari. “I don’t feel any extra pressure, if anything, it’s extra motivation, which is positive and pushes you to do your very best. Yesterday, at an event in Milan, along with Carlos, I enjoyed our first encounter with the crowd,” explained the Monegasque. “And this morning, it wasn’t that easy to get out of the hotel, as there were so many people waiting for me and I didn’t want to disappoint them.” In terms of what might be possible on track, Leclerc was very realistic. “We know that this track should be particularly suited to Max’s (Verstappen) and Sergio’s (Perez) car. Having said that, we’ve often seen surprises at Monza, so we’re not ruling out getting the best possible result.”
Fighter. Carlos is ready for a hard fight. “I will start from the back,” said the Spaniard. “For sure, it’s not ideal, because I want to be fighting at the front because of all the fans in the grandstands. But even if I start from a long way back, I will do my maximum to have a repeat of the race in France, with a lot of overtaking, in order to score as many points as possible for the team.” If Sainz has to take the maximum penalty, he has said he will of course be able to help Charles. “We saw in qualifying in recent races here that slipstreaming can be quite strong and I’m ready to make myself available for that, just like in France. I hope I can be useful and maybe great team work can give the tifosi a pole to cheer about. Charles did it in Belgium for me and I would do it for him without hesitation.”