But one thing is already certain: the fact that Ferrari concentrated fully on the development of the new car early last year is paying off. After two years of suffering you are back in the fight for victory. Gone are the days when the Ferrari drive was downgraded to an air pump after the deal with the FIA at the beginning of 2020 and only found its old strength again at the end of last year. Alone: Instead of Sebastian Vettel, who had to spur the lame farm horse in 2020, his successor Carlos Sainz is now benefiting from the Ferrari resurrection alongside savior Leclerc, which began during the tests.
The Dutchman is still satisfied with a gap of only 0.123 seconds: “It’s the first race and we are competitive. That’s a good start to the new era,” summarizes Verstappen, who wants to go for victory in the race despite the slide in Q3.
What is striking: At Red Bull, the joy about the (current) deficit of archenemy Mercedes seems to be greater than the concern about the wonderful renaissance of Ferrari.
But the works Ferraris are supposed to bring the big hit on Sunday: Carlos Sainz Jr. rounds off the strong result for the racing team from Maranello with third place on the grid. But pole-sitter Leclerc doesn’t want to celebrate too soon: “The last two years have been difficult for us. Today we were actually sure that Red Bull would be faster. That’s why I remain cautious.” After two years of setbacks, Monegasque still doesn’t trust peace. No wonder with a reigning world champion as an opponent in the first row.