In the wake of a bitterly disappointing 2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Formula 1 motorsport boss Ross Brawn has questioned where Ferrari’s pace disappeared to at Spa-Francorchamps.
Nevertheless, the former Ferrari man believes that the Reds can improve after this past weekend’s debacle but at the same time he spared a thought for Maranello-bound Carlos Sainz.
In his post-race weekend column, in his analysis under the headline: “Ferrari speed at Spa was horrific” Ross explained, “I’ve been in a situation like Ferrari have found themselves in at Spa, where you don’t get tyres to work, the temperature doesn’t come and the drop off in performance is dramatic.
“Regardless of what people say about the deficit they may have with the engine following the technical clarifications, you don’t lose 1.3s per lap from one year to next in that metric alone.
“They just couldn’t get the tyres in the zone. The fact it was colder at Spa would not have helped either. When that happens, the performance drops off and looks horrific.
“If they can make that step and get the tyres working properly again, I think the performance will snap back in. They still won’t look race-winning, but it will become more respectable,” predicted Brawn.
For now, 13th and 14th for Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc – same positions but order reversed in qualifying – at the end of race drew wrath and derision from Tifosi and their rival fans alike.
The most successful team in F1 history lie fifth in the constructors’ standings, 203 points behind leaders Mercedes after seven rounds.
Ross also spared a thought for Carlos Sainz whose race day was even worse than Ferrari, the Spaniard not even making it onto the grid due to an exhaust issue. While he watched from the pitlane, no doubt he would have noticed his future team in disarray, totally out of contention and making up the numbers.
“Carlos hasn’t had a lot of luck in Belgium of late and he drew the short straw once more as a power unit problem led to an exhaust failure that prevented him from taking the start,” recalled Brawn.
“This has been a tough year for him, but he’s a pretty positive guy. He’s a very strong character, his career has been no easy ride after all. I’ve always rated him, I think he’s a great driver and he’ll manage this situation.
“But what looked like a dream move to Ferrari next year isn’t looking too good right now and inevitably, he must be nervous about his prospects next season,” added Brawn.