SAUDI ARABIA: Ferrari’s drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished sixth and seventh at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a disappointing result for the team, which started the race after showing good qualifying pace and starting fourth and twelfth on the grid after a 10-place grid penalty for Charles Leclerc.
The team’s lack of pace in the race saw Sainz fall 35 seconds behind the winner, Sergio Perez, while Leclerc was further back, finishing eight seconds behind his teammate.
Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur said the car’s pace was “not what we expected” after the team switched to hard tyres.
Although the team performed well with soft and medium tyres, they struggled in the latter part of the race after putting on the hard tyres. Vasseur vehemently denied rumours that the team had to compromise engine performance due to reliability issues and instead put the lack of pace down to tyre management.
Despite their poor performance in the race, both Sainz and Leclerc denied rumours of widespread unhappiness with Ferrari’s management. They argued that the team is committed to improvement and has clear targets.
Vasseur admits that the team now faces a challenge to figure out what went wrong at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
While the team showed a decent pace in qualifying, they fell behind Red Bull in the race. The drivers also lost out to Fernando Alonso and the two Mercedes drivers.
Vasseur’s comments about “management” come when rumours persist about unhappiness among Ferrari’s team personnel.
However, the Scuderia has denied these rumours, and the drivers have called them an attempt to destabilise the team.
The next race on the calendar is the Bahrain Grand Prix on April 3, and Ferrari will be hoping for a better performance.
With 24 points separating Sainz from championship leader Max Verstappen and Leclerc a further 38 points off the top spot, Ferrari has work to do if they want to challenge for the title this season.
The challenge for Ferrari is to figure out what went wrong and make the necessary improvements.
With Verstappen leading the championship and Ferrari’s drivers well behind, the team cannot afford to fall further behind if they hope to have a chance at the title.
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