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"I was surprised by how Ferrari is doing towards 2022"

“I was surprised by how Ferrari is doing towards 2022”

Charles Leclerc Gearing up to face the race weekend in Interlagos, the home of the Brazilian Grand Prix, after helping Ferrari To regain third place in the World Builders Championship with an excellent ranking Carlos Sainz Jr

Now Maranello is 13.5 points ahead of the team in Woking. The fringe is still small, which in fact certainly cannot leave men in red calm. Charles Leclerc spoke about this and much more at today’s drivers’ press conference at Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo.

Not only the present, but the future as well. Because Maranello’s talent has also spoken of how impressed he is with the work Ferrari is doing at Gestione Sportiva for next season. It is clear that the difficulties of the past few seasons have reinforced an environment that has a great desire to fight to the end of the Formula 1 championships.

Charles, after Mexico, you’re back in third place in the World Builders Championship, and now you have a 13.5 point lead over the team McLaren. Are you calmer now?
“We are certainly not calm. We will have to do everything perfectly this weekend also because McLaren is very close to the constructors’ championship. They have shown their strength, so we will have to focus on ourselves to do everything perfectly. It is a good time. We have made progress. Excellent in the last 6 races, we narrowed the gap between them and now we are in front. But we have to keep going and I’m looking forward to racing here. AlphaTauri has also shown be very strong in Mexico, she was very fast. And even though she is behind us in the world championship she has shown things Excellent. However, we should only focus on ourselves and do our best.”

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What do you think of the Sprint qualifiers to be played at Carlos Pace Stadium in Sao Paulo?
“I am happy to have the new format in Brazil, because Friday is usually a bit boring, while qualifying already on the first day of the weekend can be more exciting for everyone. On Saturday, instead, the Sprint qualifiers need To some tweaking in the future, but I’m very excited about this weekend. It’s a little different than usual and for Ferrari I think it’s a good opportunity to do better.”

Are you happy with how the year has progressed with Sainz? Is the team happy with you?
“Carlos and I are a good team. We are competitive, we push each other race by race. We learn from each other and that is also good for the team, which can progress. I think Ferrari is happy. From us and we too are happy to be teammates now and in the future.”

Where have the biggest developments been made in the car this year?
“Obviously progress has been made from an engine point of view. We’ve seen that for me in Russia and for Carlos in Turkey. It’s a step forward that helps us finish third in the World Builders Championship. It was the biggest step forward, the most obvious. But behind Behind the scenes, we always try to improve the car, do better every weekend, and that’s why we make race after race better.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photography: Andy Hoon / motorsports pictures

Next year there will be cars that are completely different from the current ones. What do you like the most?
“It’s very hard to say what impresses me about the 2022 car. It’s going to be a very different year to last. But I can say what impresses me is the work the team is doing. We’re improving the way I’ve worked with. Over the past two years, I’ve improved As a team. It’s hard now to talk about what I like about numbers or other things about 2022. We don’t have references to others. The cars are very different from what we’ve seen in recent years. There’s nothing I can compare. But I like how the team is doing for next year.”

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What do you think of the path of Lusail in Qatar? How did you prepare to face it?
“Towing a new track for everyone. I only got to know it through the simulator. I didn’t have much time these days but we’ll figure out the track once we get there. Best setup you can do for the track. Look at the onboards and do a simulation. Then we have to tap well out of the three free practice sessions during the race weekend.”

At this point in the season, is Ferrari at the level you thought it could reach at the start of the season?
“Since the beginning of the year, it was clear to Ferrari that winning races would be difficult. We had some great surprises like Monaco and Baku, we showed that we are working in the right direction and we are making good progress. At the moment we are third in the world championship. Builders and that is the goal that We set it up for ourselves at the start of the season. I think things went well.”