Ferrari’s Weekend In Austria Is Bittersweet

Carlos Sainz finished on the podium in a twist of fate, with Charles Leclerc just outside the points zone.

Ferrari had another difficult weekend in Austria. The Red Bull Ring in Spielberg should have been a track where Ferrari could show its full potential. But the struggles for the Cavallino continued.

In a tight fight with the Mercedes, the McLarens and Max Verstappen, the little details make a huge difference. The Qualifying sessions, where in half a second there are five drivers, prove that.

The Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc did not make it past the second row on Saturday. Despite the good start during the Sprint, they closed in P5 and P6. And the Qualifying didn’t go much better, with Sainz who earned P4 and Leclerc P6.

Ferrari still suffers in high-speed corners and need to improve their tyre management, especially for flying laps compared to their rivals.

At the two opposite ends

The race for the two Ferrari drivers was quite different. While Sainz, starting ahead, had to chance to finish on the podium, Leclerc was more unlucky.

At the start, he was closed on both sides, squeezed between Sergio Perez and Oscar Piastri. The contact with the latter forced the Ferrari to pit early for a front wing and tyre change, and he fell at the back of the grid.

Since then, his race was long and filled with three more stops at the box, hoping to climb to the points zone. However, it was unsuccessful. Leclerc finished his race in P11.

On the other hand, Carlos Sainz was P3 after the collision between Norris and Verstappen. His Ferrari wasn’t able to catch George Russell, the new race leader, who was on Hards. The Mercedes crossed the finish line and Russell became a two-time race winner.

There was nothing the Spaniard could do against Piastri, with the McLaren flying in Austria. The Australian gained the second position with an easy overtake on Sainz.

But, in an unexpected turn of events– Norris and Verstappen’s clash – Sainz brought home important points for the team, with a podium finish. His race week was solid, considering the fact that the team of Maranello is now the fourth force on the grid.

Despite that, even Sainz had to admit that if it wasn’t for the incident at the front, it would’ve been unlikely for Ferrari to be on the podium.

The Aftermath

Leclerc’s race was just unlucky, even Fred Vasseur considered it just a racing incident.

Naturally, Charles Leclerc was quite disappointed, saying that there were no positives for him. However, he added:

“We will probably learn at lot from this race because we’ve been on opposite sides for the setup with Carlos today. With two cars in such different configurations we can learn from that” – Charles Leclerc on SkySport.

Later, Fred Vasseur was asked about the upgrades and if the team would take a step back. The team principal of Ferrari was quick to answer with a solid no.

“We have to be ambitious and look forward, we have to try to improve what we have. But we need to do better work than this weekend.

“We made a step forward this weekend between Friday and Saturday morning […]. But we need to keep developing in order to have both cars in the fight for points” – Fred Vasseur on Sky Sport.

The focus is on the next race in Silverstone, where Ferrari hopes to be in the fight with Mercedes, McLaren and Red Bull once again.


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