Leclerc and Sainz buoyed by double-points Bahrain finish


Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both felt encouraged by their respective haul of points achieved in the Bahrain GP on Sunday.

Leclerc followed up his impressive fourth place in qualifying with a solid launch off the grid, running third in the opening laps of the race before ceding two positions to Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and McLaren's Lando Norris.

Ultimately, Red Bull's Sergio Perez would also get the upper hand over the Ferrari driver, but overall Leclerc was satisfied with a P6 finish and a performance that clearly validated his team's step forward this season.

"It’s been a good race overall," said Leclerc. "We were lacking a little bit of pace in general compared to Lando but otherwise it’s been quite a good race, and especially a good progress compared to last year, which is what I want to keep in mind for this race.

"It’s only a sixth place, but compared to last year, it’s a good result, so I’m really looking forward to the next races now."


Sainz clocked in eight seconds behind his teammate in eighth place, consistently improving after a slow, or perhaps conservative start.

"All things considered, I had a very strong end to the race," said Sainz. "I was very quick on the medium and the hard tyres.

"I had a poor start, basically due to a couple of mistakes, but also me consciously taking it maybe a bit too easy in Lap 1, just wanting to make sure I made it through that Lap 1 and making sure that I was getting to know the car in dirty air conditions.

"Then once I got myself into clean air, honestly I was very quick, so I’m not going to complain, I’m going to take it and take it as a learning curve and keep improving."

Sainz ran in the closing stages of the race in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo's McLaren which gave him an opportunity to gauge his SF21 against the papaya squad's MCL35M.

"It is encouraging because last year I remember that with that car I passed Charles very easily," he noted. "So I remember how big was the difference between the McLaren and the Ferrari.

"I think I had much better pace than Daniel there towards the end of the race, we were catching more than half a second a lap."

Like his teammate, Sainz underscored Ferrari's significant progress since last year, but insisted that more gains need to be unlocked.

"There’s positive signs," he said. "There’s encouragement, there’s a big step compared to last year and now it’s a matter of keep finding the details, keep working hard back in Maranello and keep improving.

"We’ve done certainly a very good step, and now we want to take the next steps.

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