Ferrari trio of Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc and Frederic Vasseur reflect on the tussle between the two drivers towards end of F1 Italian GP.
It was a hectic F1 Italian GP for the Ferrari trio of Sainz, Leclerc and Vasseur. The Spaniard started from pole and had to defend hard from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Having lost to him, it was fight against Sergio Perez and the Monegasque.
He fended off well but eventually lost to Perez in the latter which allowed Leclerc to close in on him. Everyone expected team orders from the Ferrari camp but interestingly they let them race. The radio call was made to Leclerc to not take risk but they went for it still.
It was close a couple of times including a mighty lock-up from Leclerc at Turn 1 on the final lap but they managed to bring it home. The Monegasque noted that he knew the limited risk he was taking in attacking while Sainz did the same while defending.
They both enjoyed it as Ferrari chief Vasseur did not wish to interfere giving something back to the tifosi. He did ask them to not take nay undue risk which was hairy for him too, but he was happy with the decision he took as he trusted them well.
Battle with Charles Leclerc and the risk –
Sainz: “We obviously knew that the car that is in DRS is always going to be feeling like it’s the quicker car – but we know that around this track, once you get into that DRS, you feel quicker and we knew that. But at the same time, we know we were both fighting for a podium in Monza. So, there was always going to be a bit of a fight, a bit of a battle. In the end, we kept it clean. There were a couple of nice moves here and there, tight battles. But I think, honestly, I enjoyed battling Max, battling Checo, battling Charles. I think it was a good day for F1. As you said, a good show. And I just did everything I could to stay in front and it worked. Then for Charles especially, no, I never felt too much of a risk.
“Obviously with a teammate you’re always a bit more tense, a bit more space because it’s the last thing you want in Monza in front of the tifosi, the two Ferraris to touch. But I think we had a tough battle. It was for an important position and we managed to keep it clean. And it was good fun. As I said, I had fun with Charles but I also had fun with with Max and Checo. I would have preferred to be the one attacking than the one defending , I’m not going to lie, but today was my turn to defend and I feel like I did that well.”
Team orders situation –
Sainz: “I would have understand it both ways. If they would have given team orders, I would have understand. If I would have been Charles trying to get a podium, obviously I wouldn’t have liked the team orders. So it completely depends on the position you’re in. I’m not going to lie, it is very depending on a very subjective position or feeling. I think it was on the limit but it was nice teammates, hard, F1 battle you know, which in the end is also I guess what you guys want to see. And I had fun doing it.”
Fight against Carlos Sainz –
Leclerc: “It’s probably the most enjoyable race of the season – inside the helmet, at least. I am sure that for the pit wall, they wouldn’t give the same answer and I’m sure some of the Tifosi maybe didn’t enjoy as much as we did with Carlos. But this is exactly what racing should be. In the past with Max, I’ve had similar fights. With Checo, it was on the limit too. And with Carlos it was on the limit too, whether it was defending or attacking and that made it really enjoyable inside the car. At the end we’ve maximised the team’s points, or the maximum result we could have done for the team. So it was really cool.”
Risks involved –
Leclerc: “It was on the limit, I was on the limit and Carlos was on the limit. This is normal. I think it means to both of us a lot to be on the podium in front of the tifosi, so we gave it all but we also know how important it is for the tifosi to have one red car whoever it is on the podium. We had that in mind, we also really enjoyed it both of us. It was cool, I enjoyed it. At the end, we both did [take risks] as I said. And I said, Carlos was on the limits of the regulation on braking and I was on the limit of regulation attacking. So we both did, but at the end it all ended well. So it’s all fine.”
Call to allow them to race –
Vasseur: “I won’t make any comment and I don’t want to have a polemic on this. Because if I froze the situation I would have exactly the same question: ‘Why did you freeze, it’s not the spirit of the race?’ and so on. You can always say that it was a bit too much or not. But in the end, it was why we finished the race, and I’m more than happy with the outcome of this. For sure it’s much easier to comment when you have it at the end, but I think it was also the best way to thank everybody, the support of the tifosi and so on, and I was not that comfortable to freeze something five laps before the end. I trust them, but I told them no risk at all. It’s always relative, and I think that the notion of no risk is relative. But it’s an opinion, and I’m quite proud of the decision, and of the job done by the drivers.”
Whose call it was –
Vasseur: “On this, I want to have the last call. And I told them no risk, you can race but no risk. Again, it’s relative. But I was much more comfortable with this situation than to freeze something.”
Here’s the battle between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2023-italian-grand-prix-sainz-and-leclerc-in-thrilling-wheel-to-wheel-battle-for-final-podium-spot.1776033936393059377.html
Here’s Carlos Sainz defending himself from robbers