Sainz ready to help ‘deserving’ Leclerc win home race

© XPB 

Carlos Sainz says he’s ready to assist Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc in securing his first home win in Monaco, a united front from the Scuderia’s drivers that could prove crucial in their quest for victory.

Living up to expectations, Leclerc delivered a dominant qualifying performance on Saturday, claiming his third pole position in the Principality in the last four seasons.

However, despite his qualifying prowess, Leclerc will need to overcome Monaco’s many challenges to become only the second Monegasque in history after Louis Chiron to win on home soil.

The local hero will launch his race just ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri while Sainz will line up third on the second row alongside Lando Norris.

Sainz reckoned that in normal circumstances, his chances of taking his second race win of the year are extremely remote, the Spaniard adding that he did not wish misfortune to strike his teammate.

“I think in a normal race it’s impossible,” he said. “And then the focus will be, like I said before, to see what we can do with the two cars to win the race with Charles, that he’s in the best possible position to do so.

“Then, obviously, in Monaco you never know. All sorts of things can happen.

“But if I win tomorrow, it’s probably because something weird has happened with Charles, with strategy or with safety cars that I hope they don’t, in a way.

“Obviously, we all want to win, but at the same time I feel like Charles deserves to win in Monaco after his unlucky run.

“He’s been extremely strong all weekend and here in the past. So, yeah, tomorrow is the day to kind of wish that nothing happens and see if we can win with Charles.”

A strong getaway from the #55 Ferrari that would give Sainz an edge over Piastri into Ste Devote would set up a solid defense for the Italian outfit versus its rivals.

“We will see what we can do at the start, what we can do with strategy in order to do every single bit possible to help Charles to go and get that win,” he added.

“He’s been driving amazing all weekend. I think part of that delta, I think, comes from Charles also being super committed and having a particularly strong weekend.

“I think he’s been on it since FP1 and he’s been extremely quick. So yeah, we will do everything we can to win the race tomorrow.”

Indeed, the Monegasque has had the upper hand over his teammate from the outset. Sainz suggested that part of his deficit to Leclerc was rooted in his lack of confidence in Monaco this year.

“It’s been a bit of a struggle for me right from the beginning,” he admitted. “I haven’t been as confident as I’m normally around Monaco. And yeah, I haven’t been at my best.

“Luckily, we stepped it up for quali and in quali I was feeling one step better. It was a bit too late, and I was still lacking those last couple of tenths from confidence.

“A bit unfortunate that the weekend that I’ve struggled the most with the car has to be in Monaco where qualifying is so important.”

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