Friday , July 12 2024

Are Ferrari ready to win F1 World Championship after dismal Canadian GP for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz | F1 News

Following a dismal weekend for Ferrari at the Canadian Grand Prix, Sky Sports F1 assess whether the Italian team are ready to end their title drought.

Ferrari suffered their first double DNF in two years as a shocking lack of pace was compounded by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz failing to finish the race.

From the high of Leclerc’s victory on home soil in Monaco to power unit issues, mistakes from team and driver, plus tyre struggles in Montreal, Ferrari find themselves scratching their heads ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen’s win at the weekend puts him 56 points ahead of Leclerc in the drivers’ championship and left Ferrari 48 points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.

Ahead of Montreal, Leclerc believed Ferrari could beat Red Bull in at least one of the championships this year, but those hopes suffered a major blow across the weekend.

If Ferrari are to be taken as serious contenders, whether that’s this season or not, they cannot afford weekends like this where almost everything went wrong.

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Highlights from the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Strategy and tyre issues cause early qualifying knockout

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was expected to suit the characteristics of the Ferrari car, with its quick change of direction and ability to ride the kerbs.

However, a wet Friday and cool conditions come qualifying didn’t play into the Scuderia’s hands. Both drivers safely got through the first part of qualifying but they were bumped out in Q2.

Ferrari decided to send Leclerc and Sainz out on used soft tyres to save a new set for Q3. This backfired dramatically and left Leclerc in 11th and Sainz 12th on the grid.

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Ferrari suffered a double blow as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz failed to progress out of Q2 at the Canadian Grand Prix.

“The biggest issue was we were so slow. Every time it was dry, we were nowhere and we have to look into it,” Leclerc told Sky Sports F1.

“Since FP3, we were nowhere. The car feels bad. There is no grip at all. The tyres never felt ready.”

Ferrari used new soft tyres at the start of Q2 as they thought rain was on its way. However, the track evolved and other teams with fresh rubber leapfrogged them and got into the top 10.

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Sainz made a mistake at the final corner on his last Q2 run, costing him around three tenths, which was another reason for his surprise elimination.

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Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were both despondent after being eliminated in Q2.

“If we did everything perfect with the running of the new tyres at the beginning and not the end, and a cleaner last corner, Q3 was possible but the reality is it was too tight,” said Sainz.

“Normally on any other track, running the used at the end, we still would have made Q3 and would be fighting for pole, but when you don’t do these details right, you get found out.”

More engine issues for Leclerc

Things didn’t get any better in the race as Leclerc suffered a power unit issue and couldn’t make any progress.

Ferrari tried to resolve Leclerc’s lack of power, which he described as a new issue, during a pit stop, and it initially seemed to have worked.

However, they also gambled on giving him dry tyres as rain began to fall, which they would then have to swap back a few laps later as the showers intensified.

The Monegasque driver was soon lapped by the leaders and then the engine gremlins returned, forcing Ferrari to retire his car after 40 of the 70 scheduled laps.

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Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz reflect on a ‘frustrating weekend’ which saw the Ferrari team-mates take a double DNF at the Canadian Grand Prix.

“I was losing 1.2 seconds on the straights which was extremely annoying,” Leclerc said.

“Then I had 10 changes per lap on the different engine switch, which was such a frustrating race because you get overtaken by everyone on the straights.

“In corners we were fast and I think the pace was quite strong at the beginning, considering things, but there was nothing we could have done better with the engine issue.”

It’s not the first time Leclerc’s car has experienced engine woes in 2024 after Ferrari dissected a problem with his new power unit after the Miami Grand Prix.

Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz reflect on a ‘frustrating weekend’ which saw the Ferrari team-mates take a double DNF at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Another problem at Imola prompted Leclerc to use a third power unit and he was also given a new energy store and control electronics in Canada, so he’s on the verge of grid penalties already for excessive use of power unit elements.

“Coming into the weekend I said we have to reset every time we come into a new weekend. That’s exactly what we have done,” said Leclerc.

“Whatever happened on the weekend before, you have to reset and cannot rely on the performance of Monaco. We knew it would be tough.

“We probably had a worse surprise than what it was in qualifying and this is the thing we have to look at.”

Sainz spins out when fighting for points

As for Sainz, who earlier in the weekend was the target of some very public courting by Williams boss James Vowles, he didn’t have the pace of his Ferrari team-mate but felt the car was beginning to come to him as the track dried out.

However, he suffered front wing and floor damage in an early collision with Valtteri Bottas. Then, when running in 10th, Sainz went wide at Turn Six and spun around, hitting Alex Albon with the rear of his car.

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James Vowles says the ‘world is changing’ at Williams and Carlos Sainz would feature very highly as talks with the Ferrari driver continue.

“A driver mistake. I started to take some risks because in the dry we were a little bit more competitive and there was a potential to score some points if I took some risk and overtook cars in DRS trains, but I ended up paying the price,” the Spaniard said.

“That’s another sign when you push a bit hard, you are not very confident and the car is not 100 per cent there, you end up paying for it.

“It’s quite disappointing to come from our strongest weekend to our weakest. That’s F1 these days. We must analyse everything to come back stronger.”

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Are Ferrari behind McLaren?

Ignoring their tremendous Monaco weekend, Ferrari have been beaten by McLaren in China, Miami, Imola and now Canada.

They are 40 points in front of McLaren in the constructors’ championship, but it’s the Woking-based squad who have momentum and the more versatile car.

Ferrari have traditionally struggled in wet and cool conditions over the last 10 years in F1, a trait which appears to remain with this year’s car.

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Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz reflects on the Canadian Grand Prix.

As F1 heads to Europe in the summer, there should be plenty of hot races which will help Ferrari, but they still appear to be not quite ready to challenge week in, week out, despite a massive improvement under the leadership of Frederic Vasseur.

“The most difficult race weekend, I don’t know,” said Vasseur when asked if Canada was his toughest event since taking over as team principal of Ferrari at the start of 2023.

“But for sure it was not the best one. Sometimes you have the feeling that everything is going wrong and everything is going against you.

“But that will not change the approach that we are working as a team, with the drivers in the good and the bad moments. We will keep the same approach for next weekend and continue together. I’m not scared of this kind of weekend.”

Formula 1 heads back to Europe as the championship moves on to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix and the start of a triple-header. Watch every session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from June 21-23 live on Sky Sports F1. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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