The Spa-Francorchamps farce has just passed a few days ago, but for Formula 1 it is a closed chapter. It is also the same for Ferrari, which is preparing to take part in the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort with different ambitions than a week ago.
For Charles Leclerc, Zandvoort represents a not entirely unknown trail. Of course, there will be two more raised points than the last time he raced there – 2015, when he was racing in the FIA F3 European – but his experience could make a difference in helping the team prepare the SF21 set-up.
“I really like the place. I have already raced here in 2015 in Formula 3 and I really like the track. And in F1 I think it can be. Especially in qualifying. Surely it is a track that does not allow you to make mistakes, like a street circuit, and that’s why I like it a lot. We hope we can do well. “
How do you judge last weekend, as far as Ferrari is concerned? What were the problems that put you most in difficulty?
“I wouldn’t say last weekend was bad for us. Sure, it wasn’t great, but it went as we expected it to be on paper before the weekend. The rain came and it wasn’t easy to put the tires in the right window of use. We tried to do it in view of qualifying, but it went as we saw. We must try to learn as much as we can from the experience we had in Spa to get back strong and we hope to do better next time “.
Could your knowledge of the track help you this weekend? Will Ferrari be able to do better here than a week ago?
“Here in Zandvoort it is like taking a leap into the unknown for us. I know the track, but we will have to see why we are in F1 here. I think that on paper for us this track is not so bad. I think it can be better than in Spa. for us. But we will have to wait to see if it will really be like this or not and we will only know when we get on track. “
What do you think of the elevated points of the track?
“I think the two elevated points are super exciting. Even for us riders, because we will be able to try lines that we don’t usually do. Thanks to the banking we will be able to see some very external trajectory that we don’t usually see. So we’ll see.”
Do you think that having improved the car in the dry this year after the Paul Ricard problems may have worsened its performance in the wet?
“I believe that a fast car in the dry must be equally fast in the wet. In the wet the tires are difficult to bring to the right window of use. This also changes the driving style of the drivers, who have to do certain things to prepare for the tires before a quick lap. We saw Williams do very well in the wet last week. Evidently they found something we haven’t found yet, at least in the wet, in terms of tire preparation. We’ll work on it. But not. I believe that the work done on the car when it is dry can ruin the performance in the wet “.
F1 will soon be racing in Monza, a track where you scored your second F1 success and did it in front of your fans and those of Ferrari. How much anticipation is there for that event on your part?
“It is really special to race in Monza. It is for me, but it is also for Ferrari. For each of us it was absolutely incredible to win 2 years ago. But I think this year will be more difficult. Last year was very difficult and this year I think we can do better if we compare our potential to last year. On paper it will be a difficult track, but it will be a weekend with the Sprint Qualifying, so a different format. We will try to take advantage of that. situation. However, I repeat, on paper it will be a difficult track for us “.