Sainz finished second in both Monaco’s FP1 and FP2, ahead of Ferrari’s teammate Charles Leclerc by a tenth of a second in the afternoon session.
This showed Ferrari finished in the first 1-2 in the F1 session since the second practice of the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix and served as the latest milestone in the team’s recovery from the difficult 2020 season.
Ferrari’s form in Monaco surprised title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, but both drivers felt that Sainz and Leclerc would be a real threat to the front lines of the field this weekend.
Sainz was encouraged by Ferrari’s pace on Thursday, but wanted to wait until track action resumed on Saturday before the team could truly evaluate how it would stack against Mercedes and Red Bull.
“We definitely look very close to the real threat,” Sainz said.
“The situation here changes a lot from Thursday to Saturday, so I think we have to wait until FP3.
“There are drivers who retreat a bit on Thursday, just because they want to ease it, and suddenly on Saturday, he’s so fast, as Lewis always does.
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21
Photo: Mark Sutton / Motorsport image
“Let’s see what’s going on. At least it’s nice to see us approaching the front and actually playing in front.
“It’s encouraging for the team, and there are some positive signs that the cars in the corner aren’t really that bad.”
Sainz has an impressive record in Monaco, scoring points in each of his five race starts and finishing sixth in both 2017 and 2019.
The Spaniards revealed that they needed to adjust their driving style early in the practice and noticed that the Ferrari SF21 car was significantly different around the streets of Monaco compared to the McLaren that raced last time. ..
“The last time I was in Monaco, I was used to another car around here and the balance was very different,” Sainz explained.
“Now I’ve arrived here and the balance Ferrari is trying to chase here is quite different. I had to re-adapt, regain reference, change my driving style a bit and build my confidence little by little. ..
“But the important thing is that every time I passed the start / finish, I was always in the top three positions and I could see them fighting there.”
Ferrari is “very close” to a real F1 threat in Monaco
https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/sainz-ferrari-very-close-to-being-genuine-f1-threat-in-monaco/6512124/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-ALL&utm_term=News&utm_content=uk Ferrari is “very close” to a real F1 threat in Monaco