Ferrari doesn’t believe victory is a realistic aim despite their recent form heading to the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Scuderia has been back near their best with Charles Leclerc’s pair of poles in Monaco and Baku, followed by an unfortunate second place to Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone.
Since Austria, Ferrari has also shown a very strong race pace, as highlighted by the Monegasque leading 50 laps of the race almost a fortnight ago.
However, while the Hungaroring has been a strong circuit for the Italian team and would appear to suit this year’s car, Leclerc is tempering expectations a little.
“It’s good to be an optimist, and I think we all want to be an optimist after such a good performance in the last three races, to be honest,” he told Motorsport.com.
“But on the other hand, we also need to be realistic. We are in a good mood, but I feel like going for the win in Budapest could be a bit optimistic. So realistically, I think I will be happy if we are just behind the two top teams.”
The reason for that is while the Hungaroring has long been one of F1’s slowest circuits, the original perception of ‘Monaco without the barriers’ is shifting.
“Budapest recently has become actually a medium to high-speed track with these cars,” Carlos Sainz explained.
“If you look at Monaco and Baku there are second or third gear corners. But Budapest nowadays, with these crazy high-downforce cars, you have a middle sector where you are fourth or fifth gear all the time. So it’s not a pure low-speed track like it used to be in the past.
“I don’t think it will be such a good track for us. I think it’s a great opportunity to be right behind Red Bull and Mercedes, but downforce is still king and we see from data these guys are still ahead.
“As we saw at Silverstone, on the hard tyre Lewis had a bit more pace than us and they should be ahead in Hungary.”