The ostentation with which Max Verstappen has returned to pole position in Japan It has been a splash of cold water for all his rivals. But especially for Carlos Sainz, who arrived at Suzuka in his best streak with Ferrari, after taking the last two pole positions (Monza and Singapore) and two consecutive podiums, third in Italy and winner in Marina Bay. The Madrid driver hoped that the characteristics of the fast and highly efficient Japanese circuit would enhance the virtues of the Red Bull, but he did not think that he would be so far away, almost a second behind Max’s time. Sixth on the grid, Sainz will face a complicated race this Sunday.
Carlos, who has been surpassed by his teammate Leclerc (4th), ended disappointed: “It was a bit like a return to reality. After two very good weekends, here we are a bit like before Monza, in the fight with Mercedes and with McLaren a little ahead.”
Starting grid of the F1 Japanese GP, with Sainz sixth and Alonso, tenth
“It’s been a complicated weekend, we’ve been playing a lot with the car’s setup to try to find something and after changing it so much in the end I haven’t found the right set-up for Suzuka and on top of that the qualifying lap hasn’t been anything like that either. world. In the end a sixth, which is more or less where the car is, there wasn’t much more because the McLarens seem to be a little step ahead here,” the Spaniard assessed.
With a view to the race, Sainz’s forecasts are not too optimistic: “McLaren on circuits with high load and a lot of fast corners is better than us. In Sector 1 both Red Bull and them are one step ahead. In terms of race pace we will have to see tomorrow, we are all quite equal, but I do hope that “It will be a race to try to hold on more or less to where we are going to start. Checo is obviously going much faster than us and of course, so is the McLaren, so I think it will be a tough race with the Mercedes,” he concluded.
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