Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc expect the F1-75 to be once again competitive in Brazil for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, with plenty of action right from tomorrow, including qualifying as this is the final Sprint format weekend of the season. “I expect that Mexico is destined to remain an isolated case,” said Sainz in the FIA press conference. “Because in that race, our performance suffered from a combination of problems linked to balance and the way the power unit performed because of the altitude.” Leclerc was of a similar opinion. “I think we will be in the running, just as we were in Austin where, if it hadn’t been for a penalty because of a power unit change, we would have had an all Ferrari front row.”
More by instinct. The Sprint format means there are just 60 minutes of free practice prior to qualifying. “I really like this system because it forces you to use a good dose of instinct when it comes to preparing for qualifying,” said Charles. “This puts a premium on the team’s planning work at home and usually, over a single flying lap, the quality of the driver is even more to the fore than when you have three hours of free practice.”
Variables. The circuit is a favourite with the drivers. “It’s not like a street circuit, but the level of difficulty is really high,” continued Charles. It’s an old style track with little room for error and it has some really exciting sections. The race can be really fun and usually there are some nice fights.” The weather could also play its part. “We are expecting variable conditions and here, when it rains, the track characteristics change completely and it becomes even more treacherous,” commented Carlos.
Second place. Both drivers also mentioned the fight for second place in the Constructors’ championship. “This is an important goal, although clearly not as good as taking the title, but all year we have been either first or second, so it wouldn’t be good to end up third,” said Carlos. Charles is also in the fight for second in the Drivers’ standings. “I’d like to finish ahead of Checo (Perez) in the classification, but it’s more important to use these last two races as preparation for 2023. Having said that, if everything goes to plan, the results should be very good and probably we can get the positions we want. We will do our very best.”