Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz agree they would not settle for finishing second in Bahrain this weekend if offered that position right now.
Last season, both of the Scuderia’s drivers achieved one P2 finish each, Sainz in Monaco and Leclerc at the British Grand Prix where he was passed for the win by Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages.
Only once in 2020 did Ferrari finish runners-up, Leclerc at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, with their most recent victory having come through Sebastian Vettel at the 2019 Singapore GP.
But at the start of a 2022 campaign with all-new cars, Ferrari have been looking in particularly good shape with the F1-75 during testing and opening practice – and it looks as though strong results this season are on the cards.
Therefore, even though Red Bull go into the curtain-raising Bahrain Grand Prix as favourites with Mercedes looking somewhat off the pace at this early stage, Ferrari are clearly hoping for something better than seeing one of their drivers standing on the middle step of the podium.
That’s #FP1 all wrapped up 💪
P3 @CarlosSainz55 #essereFerrari 🔴 #BahrainGP pic.twitter.com/DHpdndS0Ai
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) March 18, 2022
Team principal Mattia Binotto is reported to have said he would not bite anyone’s hand off for P2, and his drivers concur.
“I think Ferrari must never sign to finish P2,” Sainz told Sky Italia. “Ferrari must always aim at achieving victories, that’s why we are here.
“To get back as soon as possible to win, on the podium, to fight for the championships.
“We don’t know where we are yet, we can’t confirm we would be happy with P2. We have to aim for the top and that’s what we aim for.”
Leclerc added: “For sure I want to win, everyone inside the team wants to win, so I would not sign either for P2.
“For sure it would be a great step compared to last year. But it’s a completely new project, we said that often, and there is optimism because we know how much we worked to arrive at this point.
“So as Mattia said, we will try to be up front to fight for victories every race. Then we will see if we managed to do that or not.”
Sainz, however, senses a mood of great confidence in the Red Bull camp and from Max Verstappen in particular.
“I fought with Max on track [during testing] on the first or second day,” said the Spaniard. “I think when they really made a step forward it was the last day when they surprised everyone a bit with those very fast laps at the end.
“I looked a lot at the GPS data, onboards, and the Red Bull seemed a very strong car.
“You could see Max was at ease. We talked with him yesterday and he seemed confident.”
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