The Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, faced significant difficulties after an arduous race in Saudi Arabia followed by a disappointing start to the Formula One season in Bahrain. Despite their best efforts, Sainz could only manage a sixth-place finish, with Leclerc finishing seventh behind Fernando Alonso‘s Aston Martin, Red Bull‘s Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, and Mercedes‘ George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari, F1‘s oldest and most successful team, had hoped to challenge for their first title since 2008, but they currently sit fourth overall and 61 points behind reigning champions Red Bull.
“There aren’t many positives to take away when you’re P6 and P7,” expressed Sainz to reporters. “It’s not where we want to be right now, even if we got the reliability and the double points.” Leclerc, who was the championship runner-up last year, voiced that seventh place was the best he could have hoped for after starting in 12th place due to a 10-place penalty. “There wasn’t anything to achieve more. The performance is not good enough. We need to work to improve the pace. We are too far away. The result is that we are just too slow for now so we need to work,” he said.
While the Ferrari team contemplated ways to make improvements, team boss Fred Vasseur revealed that small updates would be made for the trip to Australia next week while they worked towards more significant gains. “I think we have to stay calm. It’s not that everything is going wrong,” Vasseur expressed. “I don’t want to push on the positive side because the outcome of the weekend is not good and we have to be focused on what is going wrong…but I have to keep in mind to do a proper analysis of what is going well, and I think qualifying yesterday went pretty well. At least I had the feeling that compared to Mercedes and Aston Martin, we did a step forward [on Saturday].” Vasseur went on to say that reliability had improved, and their problems on Sunday came from a loss of performance after transitioning to hard tires for the final stint.