Car problems to blame for Imola defeat

It was a rather disappointing Ferrari home game in Imola. After extremely promising approaches in training, the Scuderia finished the race in third and fifth place in front of their home crowd. Even Charles Leclerc wasn’t completely satisfied with the podium after the race, Carlos Sainz felt the same way with his fifth place. “I struggled the whole weekend to be honest,” admitted the Spaniard after the race. “The race was just damage reduction.”

McLaren defeats Ferrari in the pits: Scuderia’s strategy mistake?

After just a few laps in the race it became clear that Ferrari and especially Sainz would not be able to keep up with McLaren and certainly not with Max Verstappen at the top. The Spaniard was put under pressure from the start by Oscar Piastri, who would have started second without his qualifying penalty. However, the McLaren driver never got past; the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari once again did not prove to be an overtaking mecca.

McLaren then resorted to the tried and tested method of the undercut and brought Piastri into the pits on lap 23 to change his tires. Typically, the car that is to be overtaken has two options: pick up new tires on the next lap in order to be able to maintain its position, or stay out much longer in order to have significantly fresher tires at the end of the race.

Ferrari chose neither one option nor the other – chose neither fish nor meat. In a strategic move reminiscent of Ferrari days of yore, the Scuderia waited until lap 27, three more laps, before Sainz was called to the pit stop. When he returned to the track, Oscar Piastri had already passed Turn 1 and had grabbed the position. Sainz didn’t have a really relevant tire advantage either.

Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur tried to explain his team’s strategy after the race. The Frenchman admitted about the possibility of leaving Sainz on the track for a longer period of time: “We thought about that. That was actually the plan.” But then an unexpected silver risk arose.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Jr.
Not a conciliatory home game for Ferrari, Photo: LAT Images

“The problem was that Russell and Hamilton had just pitted,” explained Vasseur. “It would have been difficult to keep them behind us for a while. And then if you lose position on the track, I think it would have been very difficult to overtake Mercedes again.” In fact, Mercedes, in the person of George Russell, came into the pits quite early on lap 21 and came within three seconds of Piastri.

Sainz avoids strategy questions: problems with the car on Saturday

So it happened that Sainz fell back to P6 after his overdue pit stop. Sainz snaked his way past Sergio Perez, who was still on the starting tires, but he was no longer able to overtake another driver in Imola. After the race, the Spaniard avoided the question of a strategy error and blamed the race on problems with his car that Ferrari was said to have already seen on Saturday.

“It seems that the car is working well in the race as we saw today, especially with Charles. On the other hand, we have to find something in qualifying on tracks like this because it’s just a matter of who qualifies at the front and goes from there It looks like we can hold the position.”

The Spaniard already suspected that things wouldn’t get any better for Sainz in the race. “Yesterday after qualifying we saw some problems with the car that we knew would always hold us back a little today,” explained Sainz and continued: “I also had a few problems with the use of energy today. Overall it went well “It just wasn’t that good today, which of course gave the team a home race that I’m not happy with.”

However, his team boss didn’t really accept the excuse about the problems. “Everyone has some problems,” said Vasseur. “Nobody says after a qualifying lap that they had the lap of their life and had no problems and that the balance was perfect. It’s good to have problems to understand what we need to work on.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *