Carlos Sainz says that Ferrari stand a good chance of being a real threat to front runners Mercedes and Red Bull this weekend in Monaco.
He was talking ot the media in the paddock after hs and his team mate Charles Leclerc topped the times at the end of Thursday afternoon's practice session on the streets of the principality.
Leclerc set the best time of 1:11.684s with Sainz just 0.112s behind, with a reasonable gap back to Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen who were in third and fourth place, both expressing surprise at the pace of the Ferraris.
“We definitely look very close to being a genuine threat,” Sainz said after the end of FP2, while expression caution. “I think we need to wait until FP3, because things change a lot from Thursday to Saturday here.
“There are some drivers that stand back a bit on Thursday just because they want to take it easy," he pointed out. "And then suddenly on Saturday, like Lewis always does, he’s super quick.
“We will see," said the Spanish driver, who moved to Ferrari from McLaren over the winter. "It’s nice to see at least that we are closer to the front, that we’re actually playing around there at the front.
“It’s encouraging for the team," he added. "There’s some positive signs that the car in the corners is actually not that bad."
Sainz admitted that the current Ferrari was a very different beast compared to the McLaren that he had driven the last time F1 was here in 2019.
“I was used to a different car around here, last time I was in Monaco, with a very different balance,” he said. "I arrive here and the balance that Ferrari try to chase here is quite different.
"I had to re-adapt, get my references back, change a bit the driving style and build the confidence up little by little.
"What it was important is every time I went across the start/finish, I could see myself always in the top three positions, fighting there.”