Former F1 world champion Jenson Button recently predicted Ferrari to be quite strong in the qualifying session of the 2023 F1 Monaco GP. The Italian team have been struggling with their race pace since the start of the season. However, they have been quick in qualifying sessions. Hence, Button feels they can beat Red Bull in Monaco.
According to PlanetF1, the 2009 F1 Monaco GP winner explained how the Maranello-based team's biggest strength is qualifying sessions since the SF-23 is brilliant over one lap. Hence, they can easily take the pole position in the qualifying session. Moreover, since overtaking is much more difficult in the Monaco GP, they could also win the race despite not having the best race pace advantage. Button said:
“Both Ferraris looked very quick, they have the pace. And let’s not forget, Ferrari’s real strength is qualifying. And if you’re on pole here, you’ll automatically be hard to beat in the race. Ferrari has a really good chance of beating Red Bull here.”
In both practice sessions on Friday, both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc looked quick. Though Sainz, unfortunately, crashed in the second practice session, he was one of the quickest on the grid. Furthermore, Charles Leclerc is also one of the best drivers when it comes to qualifying.
Only time will tell how Ferrari will fair against Red Bull and other top teams hungry for the top spot.
Charles Leclerc's concerning deductions of Ferrari SF-23 prior to the 2023 F1 Monaco GP
Charles Leclerc recently mentioned how he was not feeling comfortable in his car during the Friday practice sessions. He stated that the SF-23 was not doing what it was supposed to do and that he would be working with his side of the garage to change the setup.
The Monagasque also stressed the fact that the qualifying session has more importance in the Monaco GP and how he needs his car to be perfect on Saturday. He told the media:
"It was a bit of a difficult day as the car is not doing exactly what it is supposed to do. So we need to take a good look at the set-up on my car and then work on it to ensure I have the right feeling with it tomorrow. Here it’s all about qualifying, so we didn’t do any race runs, just focusing on preparing for qualifying in the best way possible."
Unfortunately, Leclerc has not won a single home race in Monaco. Additionally, he has been quite unlucky over the years due to several crashes and reliability issues. Hence, he too will be hungry to stick it in the pole position and finally win in the Principality.