If the premises are those of the beginning of the weekend of Austin, the final sprint of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship it seems destined to develop on the high voltage line, the same one that has traveled throughout the season.
After the gestaccio of Max Verstappen a Lewis Hamilton during the second free practice session and the Dutchman’s masterpiece who then mocked the Englishman on the track in the race for pole position, also in Ferrari the internal struggle between Charles Leclerc e Carlos Sainz.
It was anticipated by the Monegasque driver himself, who on the eve of the US trip had admitted that “my goal and that of Carlos is the good of the team, but there is also internal competition”.
It is logical that this is the case, after all, because if the race for third place among the constructors in the head to head with the McLaren is more alive than ever, Leclerc and Sainz have lived a season of mutual overtaking.
Not the best for Charles Leclerc, first full-blown driver in Maranello and in his third season at the helm of the Red, but currently half a point behind Sainz, whose first year at Ferrari has been more than positive so far.
Yet the Spaniard did not hide his discontent with the team for the strategy followed in the official tests of the United States GP.
Sainz, who will start from the third row with the fifth time, immediately behind his teammate, will in fact be the only one of the leading riders to start with soft tires.
“In Q1 I had a good feeling and managed to get a good time using only one set of tires – the words of the ex McLaren – but then in Q2 the track got worse. Our goal was to move to the medium, but I stayed with the soft ones. We need to understand why. In the end I did a good lap in Q3, Charles did a masterpiece lap. We are ahead of McLaren, but it will be difficult for me because the race is so long here. With a short first stint we will start on the wrong foot ”.
However, the Spaniard remains confident ahead of the race: “The goal remains to stay ahead of the McLarens. I will have to start well, but we will have to defend ourselves also because the tires will suffer some degradation and this is a weak point for us ”.
Sainz has so far finished three GPs on the podium, taking third place in Hungary and in the Russian GP in Sochi and second in Monte Carlo, where Leclerc was unable to start despite the pole position he won in qualifying. Charles, on the other hand, finished in the top three only at Silverstone, where he took second place behind Lewis Hamilton.