Why Ferrari should be quietly confident it's in the Monaco mix
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Why Ferrari should be quietly confident it's in the Monaco mix

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Ferrari topped the opening practice times for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday, which raised expectations it could finally be a factor for Formula 1 victory once again. But is that a step too far? Here's how the hidden data the teams have collected so far shows both good and bad signs for the Scuderia

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of caveats and warnings to follow, but, based on the opening day of practice running for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, Ferrari really does look as if it’s in the mix for success at the front of the grid at this stage.

It didn’t start off that way, with Charles Leclerc pulled out of FP1 by a gearbox problem after just four laps – extending a run of misfortune at his home event that extends back to 2017, when he lost the Formula 2 feature race he’d utterly dominated for Prema Racing due to an ill-timed safety car period taking him out of the lead, and later a suspension problem putting him out entirely. But, back in 2021, at the end of the first one-hour session in the principality on Friday, Carlos Sainz Jr finished second – only behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

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