Ferrari drivers keeping it 'realistic' for Budapest


Ferrari's Charles Leclerc came within three laps of winning the British Grand Prix, but the Monegasque says that expecting a similar performance in Budapest would be "a bit optimistic".

Leclerc took advantage of the opening lap clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton to take the lead and head the field for the better part of the race, demonstrating the undeniable improvement in pace and tyre management displayed since the start of the summer by the Scuderia's SF21.

However, Hamilton's late charge at Silverstone eventually allowed the Mercedes driver to overhaul Leclerc with three laps to go and secure his 99th career win in F1.

But can Ferrari - which is fighting McLaren for the final spot on the podium in the Constructors' standings - once again take on Mercedes and Red Bull at the low-speed Hungaroring next weekend?

"It’s good to be optimists and we all want to be optimists after such a good performance in the last three races but on the other hand, we also need to be realistic," Leclerc said.

"Of course it’s good and we are in a good mood but I feel like going for the win in Budapest might be a bit optimistic.

"Realistically, I would be happy if we are just behind the two top teams."

A botched pit stop at Silverstone prevented Sainz from battling among the top five, but after the race the Spaniard claimed that Leclerc's position in the pecking order in Great Britain had been achieved on merit.

Yet Sainz agrees with his teammate when it comes to the Italian outfit's prospects for the Hungarian Grand Prix as the venue's track is no longer a "slow-speed" circuit in today's high downforce cars.

"Budapest recently has become recently a medium-to-high-speed track in these cars," said Sainz.

"If you look at Monaco and Baku, there are several low-speed corners. Budapest now with these crazily high downforce cars, you have a middle sector that you are in fourth, fifth gear all the time.

"So it’s not a pure low-speed track anymore like it used to be in the past. I don’t think it’s going to be such a good track for us, but I do think that is a great opportunity to be right behind Red Bull and Mercedes."

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