Charles Leclerc says his partnership with Carlos Sainz Jnr at Ferrari has been key to the team recovering the pace they struggled for last year.
The team has begun 2021 more promisingly. Having seen both cars finish outside the points at Spa and Abu Dhabi last year, its two drivers have scored in every round so far this season, with the exception of Sainz’s slide to 11th in Portugal last weekend.
Leclerc said the competition and co-operation between himself and Sainz is helping to drive Ferrari forwards.
“It’s looking good,” he said. “We are working very well as a team. We are pushing each other. Carlos is extremely competitive and very quick all the time, so we are pushing each other.”
Sainz joined Ferrari this year following several years with midfield teams. After a long stint at Toro Rosso he moved to Renault and then a recovering McLaren, scoring the team’s first podium for five years at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.
His arrival has helped the whole team move forwards, said Sainz. “We are learning a lot from one another and I think this is very positive for the whole team.
“We are also asking the same thing to the engineers to have just a better car, which is also very constructive for the whole team. So we are in a good place at the moment and we need to keep working on that.”
Leclerc will start today’s race from fourth on the grid, which is his third second-row start so far this season. He was relieved to reach Q3 again after encountering traffic at the start of the session.
“In Q1 I had some traffic in turn one, two and three, and I lost quite a bit of lap time and then we had to go again just to be, to be sure. We did well because I don’t think we will have gone through with my first timed lap.”
2021 Spanish Grand Prix
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- Working group tackling F1’s track limits problem