Charles Leclerc was realistic in today's press conference in Baku. After an amazing weekend for Ferrari two weeks ago in Monaco, where he got pole position and his teammate Carlos Sainz scored his first Ferrari podium, he warns that a similar performance won't be replicated this weekend.
Leclerc said that the low-speed corners and "something else" favoured their SF21 in the team's first podium of the season, adding that he probably will be fighting with McLarens on Sunday like it happened in previous 2021 races.
The Monegasque driver, however, said that their performance was a huge boost morale for the team, but that this weekend they won't be competing for the podium
“I think it will be a bit back to reality now. Monaco was a one-off. We were fighting for the victory, which was incredible and very nice for the motivation of everyone. But now, with long straights and a bit more high-speed in general here, even though there are quite a lot of slow speed corners, I believe we will be back to the to the normal competitiveness that we've that we've had before Monaco.”
Leclerc was asked if he thought Ferrari could perform in a similar way on another track, but he was doubtful:
"The simple answer is that I felt like Monaco was a one-off. If we are looking at the calendar, I think one that could look the most similar to Monaco is probably Singapore."
Even on a track with a similar layout, there are too many factors to take into consideration to know beforehand whether there'll be another chance to fight for the podium:
“But then whether it will be as competitive or not, I don't know the conditions are very different, very humid. It's quite a bit warmer. But, if you look at the track characteristics, I think Singapore is the one that gets the closest to to Monaco.”
He was really satisfied with the aereodynamics of his car, saying that it's a massive help while driving in low speed turns:
“We think the aero actually, even today, with how much aero we have on the car, it's actually quite powerful. So in the low-speed corners, it's a combination of chassis and aero that makes it quite nice. The balance is also quite nice in the low-speed corners, which helps us so it's a combination of things that makes our car quite strong in the low-speed."
He still isn't sure on the reason of Ferrari's stronger pace in Monaco, as the car overperformed in low-speed corners compared to what happened in the other races of the season:
"We were even stronger on the low-speed in Monaco than we were basically in the low-speed of all the tracks before, so I think there was maybe something more in Monaco that that we need to to understand."
“But as I said, Monaco is a one-off, so we shouldn't get carried away too much," he concluded.