Between Monza and Singapore, the Spaniard won the qualifying duels for the podium and the only remaining road race by Super Red Bull. Carlos makes very few mistakes, as he becomes increasingly familiar with the SF-23 and with its tactics he astonishes even his engineers. The numbers in the order set off a speed race in the family
Carlos Sainz Jr. 142 points, Charles Leclerc 123 points, Carlos Sainz Jr. 1 win and 2 pole positions, Charles Leclerc 0 wins and 2 pole positions. What does all this mean? nothing. But maybe a little thing yeah. After 15 overall prizes, the 2023 World Championship is drawing to a close, with 7 races remaining until the end of a championship dominated by Max Verstappen and Red Bull. But yesterday (some say finally), they stumbled a bit in Singapore. It was clear that anyone who took advantage of this unexpected and above all expected error would make a lot of news, and that is what happened, also because that person was Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, the team that ignites the excitement and lights in Formula 1 more than anyone else. . A victory complete with pole position on Saturday that officially opened a discussion about the duel for internal supremacy with Leclerc. The initial data mentioned are cold numbers, but after Singapore, it became a reality that Carlos had taken the lead over Principino. Hierarchies overturned? calm. but…
Meanwhile, on the day Red Bull’s Premier League team lost its unbeaten run, it was Sainz who stole the spotlight, both the real lights from the Singaporean lighting system and the metaphorical lights from the win. And doing it in front of the eyes of CEO Benedetto Vigna is an additional icing on the cake, and another important detail. It’s not a victory that raises the rankings, Verstappen is clearly still a long way off. But in terms of the duel for second place as constructors, Ferrari is now 24 points behind second-placed Mercedes, and the challenge is heating up. We have to give credit to Sainz because he has shown the way very well recently. When asked about Red Bull’s unbeatable car, the Spaniard answered this way, and in a non-trivial way: “Our challenge is to stay on the right track, face every Grand Prix to make the car, the team grows, and work to win every race to make it.” “. The car is also faster in view of next year, try to put pressure on Red Bull who can make mistakes, be prepared if he leaves something on the road.” And so it was, in Singapore the plan was respected to perfection.
Within the project
It is not that Leclerc’s plan was different, it is just that Sainz in this sense and at this moment seems more “in” the project than Monaco. Carlos has gotten into great harmony with the SF-23, yesterday team manager Fred Vasseur revealed that “he has been driving very fast since Free Practice 1 and that helps us a lot because he and Charles together help us grow in performance.” Throughout the season.” “The whole weekend.” More data, more comparisons translate into more opportunities to perform well in qualifying and the race and especially at a track like Singapore, as we know, the front rows are the basis of a good result in the race. Moreover That said, Ferrari seemed to have improved on tire wear, the comparison with McLaren and Mercedes at Marina Bay was comfortable, Sainz also added skill to the race pace and the result was a race in which he dominated first Russell and then Norris. Now there is Suzuka, which is a completely different track where we will see How the SF-23 settings have become really kind to the tyres, the real Achilles heel of the red season.But in the meantime Sainz has been perfect in following his plan, which is to be ready to seize the opportunity to win the rest of the Red Bulls along the way.
Monza and Singapore report that Sainz was very determined not to be influenced by Leclerc. The Spaniard beat Charles in qualifying for the first time at a Ferrari track. Then he resisted in the race with the Red Bulls team as long as the car and tires allowed him. In the end, he was attacked by his colleague, who did not want to leave him the podium among the Ferrari fans, so he pulled out his sword and repelled the attack with some maneuvers that shook the pits and stands, and it was clear that there was a difference. There was a duel going on between the two, and its meaning went beyond just sitting on the platform. Carlos won it.
In Singapore we were expecting Leclerc’s response, especially in qualifying. Instead, Sainz built his weekend in remarkable fashion, from free practice to the fight for pole position, which he did himself by mortgaging the race and relegating Charles to the role of companion, who had been sacrificed on the soft tires in the first part. From the race to cover his back, given that in qualifying he did not go beyond third place. Then in the race, in the exciting and decisive final, Sainz also surprised his engineers, with that intuition that allowed Norris to use the moving wing, certain that it would in no way be overtaken, but which, by doing so, provided his rival with the possibility. For not passing Russell in turn, who, with his newer tires, was the real threat to victory at that stage. A strategic move, one of the ones we remember. Leclerc is not in doubt. But his “weight” in the team is under attack and he must respond. The countdown to the title for Verstappen and Red Bull has now begun. But there are 7 races to enjoy comparing Ferrari, Mercedes and… This challenge within the challenge, which is the challenge of the two Carles wearing red.
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