Maiden Monaco Podium For Sainz, Despair For Leclerc

It was a bitter-sweet day for Ferrari in Monaco; bitter for Charles Leclerc who couldn’t take to the grid after an issue with his car but sweet for Carlos Sainz who scored his first podium in red overalls, and his first podium in Monaco.

The Spaniard drove in a calm and calculated fashion making no mistakes, and 18 points are a just reward at the end of a weekend where he was always competitive at the highest level.

For Leclerc, what a shame! There’s great disappointment that Charles Leclerc was not even able to line up on the pole position slot on the grid, after his magnificent qualifying performance yesterday afternoon. Unfortunately, on his first lap to the grid, after a few corners, Charles’ car showed signs of a problem with the left side driveshaft fixing to the wheel and he had to pit immediately.

It only took a few minutes for engineers and mechanics to realise that the damage could not be repaired in the short time prior to the start. Charles could only follow the race from the team hospitality and after the chequered flag, he went and congratulated his teammate under the podium along with the rest of the team.

There were several positive aspects to this weekend, including how competitive was the SF21. Both drivers were able to fight at the top of the timesheet in every session of the weekend. Even with just one car in the race, the Scuderia has extended its lead over its closest rival in the classification by three points, although the points haul could have been much bigger.

First Ferrari Podium A Moment To Savour For Carlos Sainz

After announcing his move to Ferrari during 2020, many questioned if it was the right move for Carlos Sainz as the Scuderia struggled for pace. His move appears to be justified with the team on the ascendancy, and a podium finish in the most glamorous race on the calendar.

‘The first podium in a Ferrari is an incredible feeling that I will never forget, especially being in Monaco! We knew we had a chance and the pace to make it to the podium this weekend and we executed a flawless race.

‘The bittersweet feeling is still there though as I feel for Charles and for the team. All of us here at the track and back home in Maranello are working incredibly hard to be competitive and to make our way back to the top. So it was very unfortunate that today we could not fight with two cars.

‘From my side, I am obviously happy with P2 because I think it was the maximum we could achieve today from where we started. We are still missing the final step that we all want to make, but if we keep pushing like this I’m sure we will get there sooner rather than later! Forza Ferrari!’ said Sainz.

2021 Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday - Carlos Sainz (image courtesy Scuderia Ferrari Press Office)
2021 Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday – Carlos Sainz (image courtesy Scuderia Ferrari Press Office)

Despair For Leclerc

After qualifying in pole position for his home race, it was a day to forget for Charles Leclerc who was unable to take up his position at the front of the race, retiring before a wheel was turned in anger.

‘It was a tough one today. I really felt for the whole team.

‘After what happened in qualifying, the mechanics did an incredible job and gave absolutely everything to get me back on track for the race. I was really looking forward to finally be fighting for the win for us here. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

‘Not starting the race was difficult to take, especially at home. I was emotional in the car when I realised that there was something wrong. We still have to investigate what exactly was the issue.

‘Overall, it was a good weekend for us though. Carlos was strong and consistent and I am happy for him and the whole team for scoring his first podium for Scuderia Ferrari. After a difficult year in 2020, this was a great reward for everyone, both at the track and back home in Maranello, and the team fully deserves it,’ added Leclerc.

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