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 probability of overhauling McLaren for third place within the constructors’ championship.
“I would like one thing bizarre to occur, which I do not need, as a result of I do not need any probability of McLaren getting forward within the constructors’,” he mentioned.
“I simply wish to end the season on a excessive.
“At this time the homework is finished with a powerful quali, and tomorrow with a powerful race I’ll go to the winter break very pleased impartial of the place I end within the championship, as a result of to be within the battle for P5 already with Lando and Charles, that’s their third yr with the automobile, and truly having an opportunity of beating them, already means it is a Positive yr.
“And I simply have to focus and get in season lastly to enter the winter break assured. And already at present undoubtedly helps.”
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21
Photograph by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Sainz felt that Abu Dhabi qualifying was additional proof of the step that he is made just lately.
“Notably the final six or seven races I really feel like I acquired the perfect out of the automobile 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 towards 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 towards 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 seek out efficiency when it mattered after a disappointing first day in Abu Dhabi.
“I used to be not at residence 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.
“At this time we turned issues round and I discovered a a lot simpler automobile to drive and I may adapt myself so because of the group 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 necessary, not solely change the ground and the gearbox, put the race gearbox on undoubtedly gave us again some efficiency.
“However the tyre was an enormous factor. In Q2 I used to be actually pushing in Sector 1 and a pair of after which in Sector 3 all the time struggling, and for Q3 I managed to alter a bit my method and put a really stable Sector 3 and go down into the 1m22s, that was the goal for Q3.”