“The first grand prix in Italy with Ferrari is always exciting,” says the Madrilenian, who is aiming for the podium this weekend.
Mercedes started the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this Friday with a double by Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in the first two free sessions, facing the problems of its direct rival, Red Bull , who chained a morning accident by Sergio Pérez and a mechanical failure in Max Verstappen’s car in the afternoon.
Bottas outscored Hamilton by 10 thousandths, although the W12 doesn’t seem, at the moment, as powerful as it did a year ago. Pierre Gasly, third, placed his Alpha Tauri just 78 thousandths of Bottas’s time and Ferrari shone at home with the fourth position of Carlos Sainzand the fifth by Charles Leclerc. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) was seventh in the morning and 13th in the afternoon.
The Madrid driver, who in the morning led on the hard tire, finished the day two tenths behind the best Mercedes on the soft Pirelli. A convincing debut for Carlos, who in his second grand prix at the wheel of the SF21 was again more successful than his partner.
Under pressure, Leclerc fell to eight tenths after suffering an off-track at the end of the day. The Monegasque lost the rear control of the Ferrari in the braking of the T18 and went against the wall, fortunately without consequences for him. However, the step forward of those of Maranello is a reality.
The Italian dream Sainz, who has proven to be a real boost for the Scuderia after Vettel’s agonizing 2020, aims high at Imola. If in Bahrain he already amazed with his ease of adapting to the car, he is going for it all this weekend: ” The first grand prix in Italy with Ferrari is always exciting .
Unfortunately, the situation with the pandemic does not allow us to have the fans here for the weekend … I’ll miss you, “Carlos said upon arrival in Imola. A sincere gesture, although calculated, like all those that in recent weeks have allowed him to win over the demanding ‘tifosi’ on and off the track. Sainz’s Italian dream has only just begun.