Forward of Sunday’s race, Leclerc lies in fifth place on 158 factors, forward of Lando Norris on 154 and Sainz on 149.5.
Norris gave himself shot at leaping Leclerc by qualifying third at Yas Marina, whereas Sainz will begin fifth, and Leclerc seventh.
Though he has a two-place benefit on his teammate, Sainz insists that he isn’t involved about his private place, and is as a substitute focussed on Ferrari’s slim likelihood of overhauling McLaren for third place within the constructors’ championship.
“I want one thing bizarre to occur, which I do not need, as a result of I do not need any likelihood of McLaren getting forward within the constructors’,” he stated.
“I simply need to end the season on a excessive.
“Immediately the homework is finished with a robust quali, and tomorrow with a robust race I’ll go to the winter break very completely happy unbiased of the place I end within the championship, as a result of to be within the combat for P5 already with Lando and Charles, that’s their third 12 months with the automotive, and really having an opportunity of beating them, already means it is a constructive 12 months.
“And I simply have to focus and get in season lastly to enter the winter break assured. And already at the moment positively helps.”
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21
Picture by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Sainz felt that Abu Dhabi qualifying was additional proof of the step that he is made lately.
“Notably the final six or seven races I really feel like I bought the very best out of the automotive in just about each quali, and that is one thing that I managed to do at McLaren fairly often. And it was a little bit of a lesson to be pushed on this final third of this season.
“To be sincere, I’ve been up in opposition to robust qualifiers my entire profession, with Max [Verstappen], Lando and Charles now, and I’ve by no means felt like I’ve something to lose in opposition to them.
“I simply suppose this final third I am doing what I used to be doing within the McLaren and within the Toro Rosso once I was on prime of it.”
He was relieved to search out efficiency when it mattered after a disappointing first day in Abu Dhabi.
“I used to be not at house for the primary time in six or seven races on a Friday. I used to be actually a bit misplaced and we could not perceive why.
“Immediately we turned issues round and I discovered a a lot simpler automotive to drive and I might adapt myself so because of the workforce on that regard. It was fairly a difficult quali, nonetheless however we managed to place it collectively.
“The way you deal with the tyre was fairly vital, not solely change the ground and the gearbox, put the race gearbox on positively gave us again some efficiency.
“However the tyre was a giant factor. In Q2 I used to be actually pushing in Sector 1 and a couple of after which in Sector three at all times struggling, and for Q3 I managed to vary a bit my strategy and put a really strong Sector three and go down into the 1m22s, that was the goal for Q3.”