Last year Ferrari finished the Formula 1 season with 131 points (in 17 races) on a disappointing sixth place in the constructors’ championship. This season the team is in third place overall with 297.5 points after 20 grands prix (two are still pending) – 17.5 points ahead of McLaren.
The Scuderia was not yet able to record a victory in 2021 and has only been on the podium four times so far. In return, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz scored well in most of the races. The introduction of a new power unit in the second half of the season gave an additional boost.
When asked about the positive form curve at Ferrari, Leclerc analyzes: “From 2019 to 2020 there was of course a step backwards. But then, from 2020, right from the start, we worked very, very well. And I was able to do it in the 2020 season feel that we are working in the right direction. ”
“Even if the upgrades were small steps, they were small steps in the right direction. And that is always a good sign for me. So there was no breakthrough in all of these improvements. But it has been a constant improvement since the beginning of 2020, where we as a team reacted in the best possible way. ”
And the Ferrari driver confirms: “For two or three races, the new power unit has given us another boost, which was of enormous importance in our hunt for third place in the constructors’ championship.” In Sochi, the more powerful unit was used by Leclerc for the first time.
In Turkey, both drivers were on the road for the first time. But that is only the most obvious piece of the puzzle in Ferrari’s development process, says Sainz. “Since I joined the team, the team has continued to develop, not just in terms of developing the car with the engine,” he says.
The Spaniard also sees improvements in operational terms. “I feel like we’ve made great strides in terms of strategy, pit stops and the way the team works overall. And we’re doing the weekends in a much stronger way.”
“Of course a stronger package helps,” says Sainz. “But the team itself is working at a very high level, as I think if you compare it to the beginning of the season.” In the drivers’ standings, the Ferrari newcomer is only 6.5 points behind team-mate Leclerc in seventh place overall.
With images from Motorsport Images.