The confidence of Leclerc, who anticipated the changes in Ferrari because he believes that “looking to the long term” he can “win the World Championship”. Photo Jure MAKOVEC / AFP
The Austrian Grand Prix will start this Friday with a special topping: the sprint race, on the one hand, and the repercussions of what left Silverstonewith the dialectical war that opened Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen continued in Spielberg and also what happened in Ferrari in Great Britain which ended with a meeting (and changes) between Charles Leclerc and Mattia Binotto.
The The first triumph of Carlos Sainz in Formula 1 he was celebrated by the Italian team but did not leave everyone happy because Leclerc was the leader until the safety car entered at the end of the race and there was no call from the pits for the tire change, with which he arrived fourth. Therefore, there was a meeting in Monaco between the driver and the foreman.
“It’s something we usually do. He came to Monaco because the last five races have been quite difficult for me.. And I wanted to stay at home, disconnect a little from everything, be one hundred percent for this weekend “, Leclerc began in dialogue with the usual press before each race.
Max Verstappen is the favorite for the win this weekend. Photo: REUTERS / Florion Goga
Until he went into depth, consulted by Motorsport.com, about the insinuations about the divisions within Ferrari. “This it’s really fake has banned. And I wish I didn’t have to go into (this) because that’s the exact question I have everywhere. And I wish I didn’t have to fight for that kind of thing. We are very close”.
“Is there any disappointment after the last race because we finished first and fourth? Yes, there was. Are we very, very happy that Carlos has won his first race? Yes, honestly “, underlined the 24-year-old driver and winner of this year’s first and third races.
“But obviously before the safety car you are first and second and you finish the race first and fourth, so there is also a kind of disappointment. But there is no kind of division within the team, that’s for sure.” And on that professional situation he clarified: “Once the safety car comes out, you have to make a decision and if you are not prepared it is difficult. So yeah, as a team, we’ve changed a few things.. As for me personally, I think I could not have done otherwise. “
“As a team we have already changed a few things in the way we communicate to be ready for all the races in those particular moments. We have made changes, we know where we have failed and I hope we can grow“he explained.” But I’m not going to go into too much detail, “he stressed. It’s not up to me to say anything about it.”
Binotto and Leclerc during the Miami GP in May. Photo Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images / AFP
Regarding the dialogue with Binotto who exhibited a photo at Silverstone, the Monegasque, leader of the World Championship at the beginning of the season and now third, said: “Before, he was very angry with me after Silverstone, because I seemed very low, which obviously he understood, but he just wanted to make sure he was okay and that I realized he had also done an amazing job considering the situation I found myself in after the safety car. “
“I am motivated as before. I arrive at this weekend with a lot of confidence and I hope we can do well. Looking at the long term, I think we can win the World Cup. We have to make sure that things like Silverstone don’t happen to us again this year and the various problems have led to five consecutive races without getting on the podium. “
Carlos Sainz this time did not coincide with his teammate: “Well, Ferrari won, I won, so it sure wasn’t a bad decision“.” I think at that moment, in the car, I knew exactly what I had to do. He knew he shouldn’t put Charles in a compromising position, but also give Ferrari a race win; This is what matters most to the team and I think everything I’ve done made sense, “he said.
And he lashed out: “I didn’t put Charles under unnecessary risk or pressure in overtaking him, knowing that I would overtake him quite easily on the soft. I won the race with Ferrari and I think it was a good result in the end. So yes, I would have done it the same way again and I think the team understood my position perfectly.That’s why they didn’t recall the 10 cars because they knew that what he had said during the radio commentary was absolutely valid. “
Verstappen against Hamilton: “Well you learn at 37”
The clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen last year. Photo REUTERS / Pietro Cziborra
At Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton starred in a duel with Charles Leclerc at the end of the British GP, in which he was (briefly) overtaken in the same corner (Copse) where he collided with Max Verstappen last year. And in his praise of the Monegasque for the maneuver, he shot the F1 champion: “Charles did a great job, he’s a great driver. This fight was clearly very different from the one I experienced last year. he compared. At Copse the two of us were able to fight and pass wheel to wheel without problems ”.
For this, in the preview of Austria, the Dutch did not hesitate to answer him. “I think he’s cool enough that, at 37, he can still learn to hit the pinnacle of a corner. He’s learning, so that’s positive. It’s also good for younger drivers to know that you can still learn at 37.“, he launched with irony.
Good vibes between Leclerc and Hamilton in Austria this Thursday. Photo Jure MAKOVEC / AFP
Then, he clarified: “You can clearly see in the pictures what was different compared to last year. I think Charles gave her less space than I did last year, so that says it all.. And in the end, he (Lewis) was the one who got penalized last year, so he doesn’t even make sense to talk about it. “
The sprint race is back
This will be a special weekend for the premier category of motorsport, which will have a busy Friday with the first training session (at 8:30) and qualifying (at 12) for the sprint that will order the starting grid on Sunday.
So on Saturday the activity will start at 7:30, with the second free practice, and at 11:30 with the short race format that F1 has implemented in 2021. Finally, on Sunday, Red Bull will try to be the king in its land, the Red Bull Ring, from 10am. All broadcast by Star +.