Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, faced a disappointing race at the Silverstone Grand Prix. Starting at fourth and fifth on the grid, they finished in ninth and tenth positions. The mid-race safety car affected their strategy, leaving them on less favorable hard tires.
Sainz defended the team’s strategy, calling it a “50-50” decision. He instead blamed the inconsistent nature of the car, which was further exacerbated by strong winds. The wind unsettled the car, with Sainz noting that his lap times could vary by 0.4s depending on gusts. Despite Ferrari‘s attempts to make the car more manageable with a revised floor as part of an upgrade run for the Miami Grand Prix, the SF-23 still proved to be unpredictable.
The challenging conditions affected Ferrari‘s traction, making it difficult to maintain consistency. Sainz highlighted the team’s struggle to get on the power and the added difficulty of fighting on harder tires. He acknowledged that Ferrari knows where their weaknesses lie, as seen in the wind tunnel, the car’s performance, and the overall feeling. Development and improvement in these areas are crucial for the team’s progress.
This susceptibility to varying conditions will leave Ferrari “exposed” at different types of circuits. Sainz acknowledged their dependency on the wind, track conditions, and temperature, which can impact their performance. This situation poses a challenge for the team in upcoming race weekends.
Leclerc echoed Sainz‘s sentiments about the car’s sensitivity to changing conditions, particularly the wind. The car becomes “extremely difficult” when operating outside of its sweet spot. Leclerc admitted that there is still a long way to go in terms of improving the car’s performance under different conditions and wind changes. The car’s weakness in high-speed corners was particularly evident at Silverstone, and the team is focusing on development in this area.
Overall, both drivers recognized the need for further progress and development in order to address the car’s weaknesses, particularly in relation to the wind and high-speed corners. The Ferrari team will continue to work towards improvements to ensure a more competitive performance in future races.