Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz respond to the comments made by Ralf Schumacher on TV about Ferrari liking ‘mediocrity’, when should be at the front.
Amid a recovery 2021 F1 season for Ferrari, they are still far off from the pace of Mercedes and Red Bull, who are indulged in a title tussle. Ever since the end of the 2019 season, the Italian manufacturer has had a tough run, due to FIA’s technical directive.
They somehow salvaged a decent 2020, but have made a step up in 2021, as they fight against McLaren for third place in the standings. Considering how far they were behind last year, a Top 5 result this year is celebrated with much gusto by the outfit.
However, it has earned a mixed response from fans and pundits. Post the Spanish GP, while discussing Ferrari, Schumacher stated that the Italian manufacturer is ‘the perfect example of who satisfied with a frightening mediocrity’, on Sky Sports Germany.
During the Monaco GP, where Leclerc got pole and Sainz ended up on the podium, the two drivers defended Ferrari and its current state of affairs, as they slowly put itself back up in the order, with much hope riding on the 2022 F1 regulation changes.
“I don’t agree with the words he has used,” said Leclerc, in response. “We are working very, very hard. Last year has been a very difficult season for us, and from then on, we’ve been working very, very well. I can see it, I can feel the progress in the car, and I am happy with the progress we are making.
“I am not happy yet where we are fighting for, and I’m sure nobody is happy in the team where we are fighting for. We don’t want to be fighting for fifth or sixth, we want to be fighting for the first positions. But after the step back we’ve done from 2019 to 2020, we are doing a good job by recovering that.
“Formula 1 is a very difficult sport, everyone is pushing the limits every year. So yeah, we are trying to catch up. It’s not easy, but as I said, I’m happy with the way we are working at the moment. And I believe in the project, and I’m sure that will soon be back fighting for the positions we want, which is to fight for the wins,” Leclerc summed up.
His new teammate Sainz echoed Leclerc’s sentiments, stressing on putting Ferrari back to where it belongs. “I agree with what Charles Leclerc said. I think as a team, we cannot pretend from one year to another to go from being 1.5 seconds behind to winning the world championship. We are the ones that are not happy. We are the ones that are self-critical. We are the ones that want more.
“And yeah, we know it’s going to take time, and we’re going to work as hard as possible to bring Ferrari back to where it belongs, in the top. But I wouldn’t go as far as calling this team mediocre, because I think this team is full of super-talented people, people who have demonstrated that they can create race-winning cars in 2019, 2018, 2017, and the team that has always showed really good capacity of recovery in a matter of one year. We’ve recovered nearly half of the gap to Mercedes, and the top teams, so I see positive trends as Charles said. I think we’re on the right path,” summed up Sainz.
Here’s Ferrari testing 18-inch tyres and also playing football
Here’s Carlos Sainz on lost Monaco GP win chance
Here’s Ferrari on the driveshaft failure
Here’s what Mattia Binotto and Charles Leclerc said after Monaco GP