Sixteenth time at the end of FP1, eighth at the end of FP2. For Carlos Sainz Friday at Paul Ricard was certainly not easy and confirmed the fears of the day before.
In the morning the Spaniard obtained the best personal time of 1’35 ” 342 after having heavily blasted the front left during a long, while in the afternoon, without significant errors as in FP1, Carlos was able to simulate the qualification by obtaining the time trial of 1’33’698 as a reference.
Going back to seeing a Ferrari capable of fighting for pole as happened in Monaco and, surprisingly, in Baku it seems impossible, while much more concrete is the possibility that tomorrow and Sunday the SF21 of Leclerc and Sainz will be engaged in a fight at thousandth with the other fierce opponents of the mid-table group.
That the Paul Ricard away match would not have been easy for Ferrari was largely predictable and Sainz himself confirmed this theory at the end of a closed day without sharp details.
“We had decent sensations from the car, but we knew that this track would give us some problems and we wouldn’t be as strong as in Monaco and Baku”.
There are no long faces inside the box of the Cavallino, but the awareness that what we see today is the real potential of the SF21.
“We are back to reality, but we are happy with the balance. It is not far from the ideal ”.
One of the topics of the weekend will be the choice of compounds for the race. Lewis Hamilton, at the end of the session, said he struggled with the medium Pirelli and had a better feeling with the hard ones, much more consistent.
Sainz also aligned himself with the thinking of the seven-time world champion. The Spaniard underlined that Ferrari is unable to make the medium compounds work absolutely and in all probability in the race they will immediately switch to the hard ones.
“Today the averages have not worked for us. We felt much more comfortable with the hard and soft ones, while the medium ones, for some reason we don’t understand, and which we will probably never understand, are not good compounds for us ”.