Vasseur after Monaco: “Emotion larger than life”. Sainz: “Happy for Leclerc”

Raise your hand if, a year ago, with Leclerc in sixth and eighth place on the grid and then even in sixth and eighth place at the finish line in Monte Carlo, you expected that Ferrari would return to the Principality to give the fans a weekend like this big emotions. Certainly, the team principal has always been among the few supporters of the potential of the new direction Frederic Vasseur. It is no coincidence that he was the life of the party on the podium together with Charles and Carlos, as well as Prince Albert of Monaco who was decidedly less institutional and austere than usual. “It was a perfect weekend, an important one for Leclerc – he then explained to Sky after the podium ceremony – because rWe recognize that we have had a couple of difficult races in Monte Carlo in the past. But he was ready to win from the first lap of Free Practice 1he did a perfect job even if the race was a bit strange given that after the red flag he found himself having to manage 77 laps with the same set of tyres.”

LECLERC IN CONTROL

“Every now and then – continued the French manager – he asked us for permission to push a little more because it was difficult for him to have to manage the tires so much, but I must say that he was always in perfect control of the situation. I also thank Carlos, because we also had to manage the gap from the cars behind so as not to create a gap for the pit stop and he also did a fantastic job for the team. Today we are definitely not world champions and we need to stay calm, but the group is pushing a lot in the right direction and this victory gives everyone enormous motivation, both the people on the track and the guys in the factory who are doing something extraordinary. When did I understand that we could win here? On Friday morning, from the first lap of FP1, Charles had an exceptional pace and was always under control, even when in Q1 he picked up that piece of plastic with his front wing. At that moment it was a bit of a shock but he quickly found his stride again. It went well”.

MOST BEAUTIFUL VICTORY

Thanks to Verstappen’s sixth place, Leclerc now finds himself 31 points behind Super Max, with Ferrari second in the Constructors’ standings, -24 behind Red Bull. However, it is strictly forbidden to talk about the fight for the title: “I don’t care about points, there are still 16 races to go and I don’t want to know how far we are from the top. The most important thing is to try to do a better job in the next race in Canada, arrive in Montreal with the same motivation and continue pushing without thinking about the World Championship.” There is also a small personal consideration, given that Fred considers the success in Monte Carlo to be the best of his long career as a sports manager: “I experienced a couple of good moments and also the pole position in Monza (with Sainz in the 2023 Italian GP, ed) was very emotional. But this success is the best moment, even for Charles who had been waiting for it for ten years and cared a lot about it. It was a special day for him and the whole team. I’m happy, we’ve pushed a lot in the last year, but it’s not just my job but that of the team as a whole. You saw how everyone was crying under the podium, a special emotion.”

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SAINZ SPEAKS

Third at the finish line, too Carlos Sainz he is satisfied with the final result. Also considering the stroke of luck of the red flag caused by Perez’s bad accident with the Haas of Magnussen and Hulkenberg which allowed him to regain third place on the grid, avoiding the contact at the start with Piastri from ruining his Sunday. “That start was really at the limit – explained the Spaniard after the checkered flag – and I immediately had a bad feeling, but luckily my morale changed quickly when I knew that I would have third place again. In the race the pace was as good as we expected, but it was impossible to overtake on these roads and nothing more could be done. However, I am very happy to see Charles win his home GP with the way he rode all weekend. I am happy to share this podium with him, it’s a good day for the team who deserved this result. Final attack on Plates? At a certain point it seemed that Lando had the advantage to put on the medium tires and attack me at the end, so I started to push a little more. I was running at 1:14 and for a while I even thought about putting pressure on Oscar, inducing him to make a mistake since I knew that overtaking him wasn’t possible. He lost the rear a couple of times, but it wasn’t enough to overtake unfortunately.”

 
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