Never the pace to overtake

Ferrari suffered a huge defeat at the Canadian GP. It was the first Formula 1 race without points since a double technical failure in Baku in 2022. While Charles Leclerc was forced to play poker with an engine problem, Carlos Sainz could not cite a technical excuse. The Spaniard was simply too slow.

Carlos Sainz: First too slow, then too much risk

After the Ferraris’ double exit in Q2, a comeback from the red racers was expected in the race. But this did not happen. For Leclerc, for a well-known reason. Sainz, on the other hand, was puzzled: “Of course we had some damage to the car from a few contacts that we had in this crazy race. But there was never really enough pace to pull off any overtaking maneuvers.” The disputes mentioned were with Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas. Even with slight damage to the front wing, a Ferrari should normally be able to prevail against midfield cars. But in wet Montreal, that was not possible.

Both Ferraris with Charles Leclerc ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. after the start
Ferrari drove in the midfield in Montreal, Photo: LAT Images

In the last third of the race, the Spaniard regained his courage: “It was only when we switched to slicks at the end of the race that I got the feeling that there might be a chance of scoring a few points. I tried to take a bit of a risk to overtake some people in the DRS train.” But it was too much of a risk: “I wanted to be close in sector 2 and I probably touched a wet spot. I don’t know exactly. It was very strange how I lost the car in the middle of the corner.” Shortly afterwards, he parked his car; it was too badly damaged.

Ferrari one second behind in qualifying: Something must have clearly gone wrong

Ironically, the Spaniard also took Williams driver Alex Albon with him when he spun, as he was unable to avoid the accident. This same Albon could be his teammate next year, as Williams is actively courting Sainz’s services. However, Sainz already confirmed on Saturday that the Ferrari was even close to a Williams in the Grand Prix: “There was clearly something that the others did better in qualifying to prepare the tires. In the race, we were simply stuck in the midfield and couldn’t make up any ground.”

“This year there is a tendency that we are a little weaker in qualifying than in the race. But being one second behind in Q2 clearly meant that something was wrong with our car,” said the fourth-placed driver in the World Championship. One issue was the tires mentioned, but Ferrari will probably have to carry out an intensive analysis beyond that, because there were neither engines that failed nor front wings that were damaged in qualifying.

Fred Vasseur: Canada hopefully all the crap of the season in one race

Team leader Fred Vasseur could only react to the misery with gallows humor: “Everything went wrong from the start. I hope that we have unloaded all the rubbish of the season in one weekend.” Nevertheless, the Frenchman is not panicking or taking action. Despite the failure, he has no doubts about his team’s work: “Sometimes you feel like everything is going wrong and against you. But that will not change the way we work as a team and the way the drivers work. That applies in good times as well as in bad.”

And this way of working involves a well-thought-out approach. “If you look at this weekend as a whole, it was very tough. But you have to look at all the problems separately,” said Vasseur, setting the tone for the upcoming analyses. For him, there is no reason why Ferrari cannot be competitive again in the next races. Carlos Sainz thinks so too: “I think Canada was a slip-up. Just a special race.” For him and his fans, there is hope, because the next Grand Prix is ​​Sainz’s home race in Barcelona.

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