The Italian Grand Prix will be contested at Monza this weekend in front of a gauge that will reach at most half a normal Grand Prix on the circuit. This is the first race in Italy with a crowd since the 2019 Italian GP.

The previous four, two in Imola, one in Monza and one in Mugello, had indeed been held behind closed doors, or in front of a few healthcare workers who had been invited.

“I’m a Ferrari driver, but I haven’t had the experience of being a Ferrari driver,” said Carlos Sainz, who will discover Monza as a Ferrari driver. “I barely drive for Ferrari, but I haven’t had the experience of enjoying tifosi.”

“I do it sometimes in Maranello, when they approach me, when I go to the factory. But I must be one of the only Ferrari drivers in history to have taken more than a year to feel like a Ferrari driver! “

“Budapest gave me that first opportunity, with the whole fan base out there, and the love you get from everyone at the hotel. I don’t know if you’ve seen it my videos on Instagram, but it was crazy. So I can’t wait to be in Monza. I don’t know how close they’ll let them get to us. But still, I think that’s gonna be amazing. “

Sainz doesn’t know what to expect at Monza, with a Ferrari struggling harder than at Zandvoort on a circuit where top speed is essential: “Monza is weird, because in the first two chicanes we should Be good. “

“Obviously, the straights in between, it won’t be so good. But yeah, hopefully if the low downforce package works well and gives us what we want, that might work. turned out to be a good weekend too. “

Carlos Sainz has had a great season so far, with two podiums and a provisional seventh place in the championship, 2.5 points behind teammate Charles Leclerc. He’s weighing the good and bad points of his 2021 fiscal year so far.

“In terms of points, that was obviously my best start. But like I said before the summer break, I feel like I did better first halfs. season in terms of pure performance as a driver. “

“I think my third season at Toro Rosso has been about maximizing the car you have and getting the best possible result for that car every weekend. I have more points because the car is more competitive than then. But I think I still have some leeway, and I remain critical and analytical. “

“I think it’s a good season so far. I wouldn’t say it was excellent, but it was good. And given the challenge that I am had in front of me, and given all the unknowns, I think I can be pretty happy about it. “

“Being so fast from the start in the car, and finding the limit of the car from the start made me feel a lot more relaxed. for all the weekends, knowing I was going to be in the groove. “

“The challenge was more to put it all together every weekend, like I did at McLaren, and that’s what brings in the points and brings the overall result.”

“But I feel that on that side as well, there have been a lot of improvements since the first race. And if I continue to improve at this rate, I should soon be too good. Regular as I want to be and continue to exploit the performance of the car. “

With a small gap in the championship between Sainz and Leclerc, one might think that their rivalry is in full swing. The Spaniard says he expected a more complicated start to the season against the designated Scuderia leader.

“Obviously, against a guy as fast as Charles, a guy who knows the car so well, you never know when you’re coming into the squad, what you’re going to find. But since the first one re race, I feel like I’m very close, and it plays out to a tenth, like with all of my teammates. “

“Now it’s about perfecting the starts, the first few laps, feeling the car in the dirty air. I have to know what to do with the car from Q1 to Q2, Q2 to Q3, to maximize performance, use the tires and manage them. “

“There are so many complex things. You have to exploit the strategy with the team and with the communications. As you have seen in Hungary, there are still things that need to be refined before succeed every weekend and become a pilot who makes the most of his weekends. “

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