Scuderia Ferrari reached the goal it had set itself for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint, with Carlos looking to make up as many places as possible to mitigate the damage of the five place grid penalty he takes tomorrow, following his engine change, while Charles had to come back from tenth, aiming for a place on the front three rows for tomorrow’s race that starts at 15 local (19 CET).
Skill and determination. Carlos and Charles both got away well and once they had got the Soft tyres up to temperatures, they went on the attack. The Spaniard easily passed Lando Norris at the start and set off in pursuit of the leading trio of Kevin Magnussen, Max Verstappen and George Russell. He managed to get ahead of the Haas and in the closing stages, he had to fight tooth and nail to fend off Lewis Hamilton, while also catching and passing Verstappen, who was struggling on the Medium tyres. He finished second and thus starts from seventh on the grid tomorrow. Charles benefited from Fernando Alonso’s problems and then passed Esteban Ocon, Magnussen and Norris, running at a great pace in the closing stages to finish sixth. Tomorrow, he starts from fifth place on the third row.
Tough race. While both F1-75s performed well, tomorrow’s race looks like being complicated and very open, with six cars all likely to be fighting for the win.
Carlos Sainz #55
It was a good Sprint today. We had a solid pace, so we were able to overtake a few cars and then I defended well to finish P2. Tomorrow we can expect a very busy race as I will have to serve the penalty and will start from seventh.
We still have some work to do if we want to fight at the very front, as Mercedes is also very competitive here. However, I’m confident we can run a good race and I think we are up for a very interesting battle. Now it’s full focus on tomorrow.
Charles Leclerc #16
Starting from P10, my target today was to gain as many positions as possible without taking too many risks. That’s exactly what I did and with the good pace we showed today, I will push as hard as I can in the race to bring home a strong result for the team.
Laurent Mekies, Racing Director
All in all, this Sprint went reasonably well for us, as we had decent pace and moved up the order, with both drivers securing good grid positions for tomorrow’s Grand Prix. Carlos and Charles showed great fighting spirit and did an excellent job in bringing home as much as was possible today without taking too many risks. Carlos drove a great race, pushing right from the opening lap, then attacking Max (Verstappen) for second place and finally defending from Hamilton’s comeback. Thanks to his aggressive drive he will start from seventh tomorrow, thus mitigating the impact of the penalty he has to serve after changing the engine.
Charles also did very well by gaining four places, thus securing a place on the third row, which is what we had targeted. We expect a long and demanding race tomorrow and we will now prepare for it thoroughly, going through the data we gathered today.