Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2021

Ferrari faces one of its toughest races of 2021 at home – Leclerc

2021 Italian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc predicted a difficult race for Ferrari in its home event at the high-speed Monza circuit.

The team has been less competitive at circuits which place a high demand on power unit performance, and Monza sees the highest straight-line speed of the year.

“It’s not going to be an easy weekend for us,” Leclerc admitted. “On paper it is one of the most difficult tracks for us this year. But we’ll try to give everything.”

However Leclerc is relishing the opportunity to race in front of the Ferrari fans at Monza again, after last year’s race was held behind closed doors due to the pandemic.

“I’m very excited,” he said “It’s always a very, very special place every time you come as a Ferrari driver. So I’m really looking forward to it.

“We’ve been in Milan yesterday, at the factory the day before, and we can already feel the support building up for the race. So I’m really looking forward to it.”

The upcoming weekend will see the second running of Formula 1’s new sprint qualifying format, which Leclerc is looking forward to.

“I love it,” he said. “Normally the Friday is quite boring. We’ve got FP1, FP2, not much happening.

“But now you’ve got a lot more of benefits if you have a good FP1 because that’s the only practice you have before before qualifying. So I’m a big fan of the Friday with this format. And you also get another another small race, which is exciting with another start. So I really enjoy those type of weekends.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Ferrari faces one of its toughest races of 2021 at home – Leclerc”

  1. At least do better than last year’s double-DNF. That’d be enough cause for cheer.

    1. Last year leclerc could’ve been fighting for the podium if not for that mistake.

  2. Racing for Ferrari at Monza must be a special experience for any F1 driver and it’s normal to see them focus their PR moments before the race on that.

    However, let’s not overlook that Ferrari continues to be irrelevant when it comes to racing for wins and titles. For a team with the facilities, experience and budget this is a very poor level of performance. The people pointing out that Räikkönen remains Ferrari’s latest champion, Vettel remains Ferrari’s latest race winner, and Alpha Tauri the latest Italian team to win in F1 may be somewhat provocative and cherry-picking, but they do have a point. Ferrari, its drivers included, continues to disappoint.

    1. Ferrari definitely have been a big disappointment through large parts of the last decade (except ’17 & ’18 when they put up a decent fight to Mercedes), but you can’t point the finger at the current team, or at least not on the drivers.

      Everyone, inside the team and outside, knew that this season wasn’t going to deliver spectacular results, given how little they were able to change on the car (chassis & PU) and the big rules change coming next year. Being ‘best of the rest’ was always going to be the best possible result.
      Who knows what’s going to happen next season?!

      When looking at the big picture, I agree. Being a Ferrari fan the last 12 years has been very painful. Big facilites and loads of money don’t guarantee success. Toyota learned that the hard way. Despite the biggest budget (I think they had around 650 mil. $ in 2003) in F1, they failed to secure a single win in the 8 years they competed.
      The key to success is to put the right people in the right positions at the right time and Ferrari simply hasn’t managed to do that since 2008.

    2. Ferrari fan here, I always support Ferrari no matter who drives the car but I disagree that the drivers are part of the problem. Ferrari fought hard in 2017 and 2018 and I believe that had Alonso been that car would have won at least once. Mercedes each year performed that little better than Ferrari overall, however I think that Alonso would have made up that small deficit and win.

    3. Irrelevant? Just two seasons ago they were fighting for wins nearly every race. They have two poles this year and came within 2 laps of winning the British Grand Prix a few races ago. We’d all love them to win a title, but you could say that about every team but Mercedes lately.

  3. Yes, it’s definitely going to be a very tough weekend for Ferrari. They need to squeeze every little bit of performance out of their car to limit the damage against McLaren, who should have one of their strongest weekends this season.

    Charles wasn’t too bad in qualifying here last year, only missing Q3 by 0.2 in a heavily underpowered and far too draggy car. At least a top 10 result should be possible on Sunday and the sprint on Saturday might also shake up the order a little bit to potentially help them.

  4. I’m not so sure. Baku has a massive straight and earlier this year Sainz was 2nd fastest in the speed trap in qualifying with Leclerc 5th fastest top speed. Whatever power they lack, they might might be offsetting that with a low drag car.

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