Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Monaco, 2024

“Weird” to be so far off pace in Monaco – Sainz

Formula 1

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Carlos Sainz Jnr was puzzled to end Friday practice over six tenths of a second slower than his pace-setting team mate.

Charles Leclerc was quickest of all on the first day of practice, while Sainz was 0.684 seconds behind him in sixth place. The gap between the two drivers was similar in the first session, where Sainz was 10th-fastest, half a second behind Leclerc in fifth.

“I definitely struggled in over one lap today,” Sainz admitted. “We were just simply not able to extract maximum performance out of the medium or the soft over one lap.”

However he was encouraged by his car’s pace in the race simulation. “For some reason, in the long run, it felt mighty quick,” he told the official F1 channel. “So there’s something to understand there, but I’m hoping that for tomorrow we will find some answers.”

He said Monaco “has normally been one of my strongest” tracks. “That’s why it’s weird what happened today, in a way.

“At the same time, when I see I’m probably the quickest over the long run, there’s something there to understand. And, if we put everything together, we should be okay by tomorrow.”

Sainz believes he understands why he was more competitive towards the end of the second hour session. “We got a bit lost with the set-up changes at the beginning of [second practice] which put me a bit of a step behind during the whole of [second practice], and I seemed to catch up a bit too late in the long run.

“Hopefully by tomorrow I should be better. But it’s not the ideal start to the weekend, hopefully tomorrow I’ll be more in shape.”

Leclerc has out-qualified his team mate on their three visits to Monaco together at Ferrari. However Sainz started ahead last year after Leclerc was given a grid drop penalty for impeding Lando Norris.

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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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2 comments on ““Weird” to be so far off pace in Monaco – Sainz”

  1. It seems in recent races everything is feeling a little strange to Sainz Junior. Changing team may come as a good fresh feeling for him and his father. Sure Ferrari will prepare a warm goodbye party to them.

  2. What Sainz doesn’t know is that Leclerc has spent every one of the last 365 days doing nothing but single laps in Monaco on the sim

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