When you know that you will still be last, you can appear in qualifying with just enough and take a timed lap, or you can compete for what little is available. Ferrari opted for the latter with Carlos Sainz resorting to an old tactic: being part of Q1 to get in the way, in case you could eliminate a direct rival, and also taking part in Q2 to give your partner a slipstream. Both things went perfectly, Ricciardo was left out in the first cut and Leclerc received invaluable help from Carlos to save the top-10.
Then eThe Monegasque signed a brilliant fourth which translates into third for the sanction to Hamilton. In conversation with AS, Leclerc aspires to everything this Sunday: “Podium? Anything is possible. In good conditions, better than qualifying, it will be very good. But if it is wet, it will be more difficult for me.” The exit against Bottas and Verstappen will take it easy: “I will not take risks with the cars that fight for the title because it is a difficult exit.”
Charles confirms that the slipstream in Q2 was planned. But not only in Turkey, “also in Russia”, when it was he who had to give it to Sainz and it could not be done: “We did not do it because it was raining. Here we saw the window and it was clear, it shows that we know how to work as a team. I thank Carlos for that slipstream, otherwise it would have been very tight with the traffic ahead. ” In his previous attempt, Leclerc had made a mistake.
Sainz: “I would have preferred to leave third or fourth …”
The Monaco driver reveals that Ferrari has opted for a “low downforce setup in Istanbul, thinking about the race, even if that would complicate qualifying.” This approach suits Carlos Sainz because last part (he changed the power unit) and he needs to come back: “I would prefer to start third or fourth, like Charles, instead of coming back. Besides, there are no more cars taking penalties. I’ll do what I can, but if it is difficult to follow other cars, it will be more frustrating. ” On his performance: “Once Charles completed his time (in Q1), I had to give a good lap that could eliminate a direct rival. And that was Daniel. It was a bit of a strange plan, but it worked perfectly. “