Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were relieved with the F1 Italian GP result, despite the weekend being tricky, as the latter sees the worst side after McLaren 1-2.

On paper, Ferrari had a solid result in F1 Italian GP after Leclerc ended up fourth and Sainz sixth, where they collected a good 20 points. But with McLaren ending up 1-2 and taking away 45 points, they now have a 14.5 points advantage in the fight for third.

They lost third to Ferrari after the Zandvoort showing, but McLaren fought back at Monza and with a near-perfect score, they cut through the Italian outfit’s advantage. Both Leclerc and Sainz where satisfied in some ways, but the latter did note about the rival’s results.

In overall context too, Sainz was a bit down considering he ended up sixth and did not have similar pace to Leclerc. Whether the incident in practice played a role or not is another topic, but he conceded not having the best of runs in the car on Sunday.

“In race runs I was sliding a lot the rear, never quite had the top speed, was struggling with tyre degradation, it’s been very tricky, it’s been a difficult weekend for me and now I need to analyse what I can do better for the next race,” said Sainz to written media. “We were always there very close to the opportunity but never quite had the pace and the tools to get in the fight.

“We have certain weaknesses with the car that are too big, when we were in a fight it was very difficult to keep the others behind or attack them. It’s a shame because you could always see the podium there very close to you but never had the chance to fight for it,” summed up Sainz, who had praise for McLaren, but also talked of a reality check, as this was the worst possible outcome for Ferrari.

“Looking at our rivals, McLaren had even more pace than last year [at Monza],” said Sainz. “Last year we had a good pace but not as good as what they had this year. A combination of great starts and great pace, I think they managed to put together a solid weekend. But unfortunately, they are in a fight for us in the championship and it is the worst possible result we could have had for P3 in the championship.

“We are still within reach, they have used their chances [well],” summed up Sainz. On the other hand, Ferrari teammate Leclerc was pretty upbeat despite losing out to both Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas towards the end. He lost to Sergio Perez too, but the penalty to the Mexican allowed the Monegasque to get the place back.

“I gave it all, really everything, there was not much more to do,” said Leclerc. “Every opportunity there was I tried to take it, as soon as Valtteri passed me I tried to pass him again and succeeded but they were too quick, especially in the third sector and into Turn 1. It made us very vulnerable and it was very difficult to overtake but very easy to be overtaken.

“So it was not the easiest but at the end if you look where we were last year and where we are now it is a big step forward, so we need to keep working like this. And on my own performance I rate it as my top five performances in Formula 1, I really feel like I’ve given absolutely everything, so on that I’m happy but we need to keep working to be fighting for the win very soon,” summed up Leclerc, who – like Sainz – noted about the tricky moments with the Ferrari car.

“It was tricky,” said Leclerc. “I think our pace was actually quite strong but we had to put quite a bit of front end this weekend, so it makes it quite challenging to drive during the race. But I found the right feeling with the car and I really enjoyed the race. I feel like I haven’t done many mistakes during the race and it always feels good,” summed up Leclerc.

With a break after the intense triple-header, the duo were back in action at Imola for more in-season testing, using the Ferrari SF71-H. So far, they have had sessions at Fiorano, but they traveled down to Imola this time. Interestingly, Leclerc was back in the simulator at Maranello after driving early in the day.

The Monegasque apparently faced engine issues, which ended his run early while Sainz took over later in the day. One big purpose of these runs is to collaborate the new Ferrari simulator with on-track performance and to check if it delivers or not. With some time loss on Thursday, they may be back on Friday with their academy drivers, if the weather is good.

Here’s Valtteri Bottas on it to be tricky to pass McLarens

Here’s McLaren on securing that 1-2