Ferrari had a strong weekend in Turkey before the race on Sunday, putting in impressive lap times with considerable consistency.
Ferrari’s performance in Istanbul has got people to sit up and take notice this weekend. Out of all those surprised by the Scuderia’s sudden spike in performance, one of the most notable ones is Ferrari sensation Charles Leclerc, calling it “a bit strange”.
Leclerc qualified P4 after a quick lap in Q3 but will be starting the race from P3 after Lewis Hamilton’s 10 place grid penalty for an ICE change comes into effect. When asked about the sudden pace Ferrari has found in the Turkish GP weekend, Leclerc answered honestly. “I’m not completely sure, to be honest,” he said.
“As well as this, it’s a little bit strange. Also, the midfield seems to be working well, because everyone is close to pole position.” It is interesting to note that the top 5 cars on the grid at the start of the race will be from 5 different constructors—namely, Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Alpha Tauri and Alpine.
Leclerc summarised that he is “definitely happy” with his lap in Q3, considering he was expecting the low-downforce set-up they chose to run with to make things trickier.
Ferrari’s Teamwork made the dream work
Ferrari is engaged in a close battle in the Constructor’s championship with McLaren for the third spot this season. Currently, they are trailing McLaren by 17.5 points.
Carlos Sainz, who has taken a full engine penalty, will be starting the race from the back of the grid. However, he did not let that affect his role in qualifying on Saturday.
Sainz exited Parc Fermé to participate in Q1 and made sure his lap times did not knock out his teammate Leclerc. Once Charles was out of the danger zone, Sainz put in a good lap which put him through to Q2. Simultaneously, it was this lap that also knocked Daniel Ricciardo of McLaren, their direct competitor, out of Q1.
With Ricciardo out of Q1, Ferrari ensured he had no opportunity to qualify any further up the grid. Thus, leaving only the Mclaren of Lando Norris for Charles Leclerc to battle for points in the race.
Sainz then gave Leclerc an effective tow in Q2 and also helped him clear traffic in the final sector before finally parking his car and bowing out of the rest of the qualifying session.
Going into the race, it is yet to be seen if Carlos can turn this into the perfect weekend for the Prancing Horses by using their newfound pace to overtake Daniel Ricciardo and compete for crucial points along with his teammate.