Saturday’s incident-filled qualifying for the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix was an eventful one, good for some teams but not for others, among them Ferrari whose drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz suffered through a rain-stricken session, leaving them miles off the pace of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen yet again.
Q2 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal brought about a heavy level of rainfall, as teams and drivers were in panic stations, desperately trying to predict the correct tyre compound to use amidst the torrential weather.
Intermediate and Soft tyres were the common choices, with solid lap times being posted, particularly by Nico Hulkenberg and Haas, before worse weather appeared. Ferrari’s position going into Sunday’s grand prix, leaves much to be desired, as both drivers had a major blunder.
Leclerc was the again victim of another Ferrari strategy woe, as his call for slick tyres was declined during Q2, not improving on his banker lap at all, which left him in P11 and unable to get into Q3. In the Ferrari media report, Leclerc had this to say:
“I was frustrated after qualifying because I love my team and I felt we could all have done a better job today. We have been working so hard and made a good step with the car for this weekend, so it was disappointing not to go through to Q3.
“We will pull together and work as a team to improve. I will give everything in the race to to make up as many positions as possible and bring home a solid result for us,” the Monegasque concluded.
The Scuderia have a very challenging uphill battle for the race on Sunday
The other Ferrari of Sainz, fared better, as he made Q3, but only going eighth fastest overall. It was, however, to get worse for the number 55 driver, as he was hit with a three-place grid penalty, for obstructing Pierre Gasly towards the end of Q1.
Sainz, speaking to the media also, said: “It was a very tough qualifying.
”After the incident in FP3 the guys did an amazing job to rebuild the car and I managed to get my confidence back bit by bit in Q1 and Q2, putting some decent laps together. I was looking forward to pushing hard in Q3, but unfortunately the red flag and later the heavy rain meant we couldn’t improve our time and missed out on a better result.
“My starting position is not ideal but tomorrow we’ll try our best to make up some places”, the Spaniard concluded.
In all, Ferrari have a very challenging uphill battle for the race on Sunday, as they look to find the pace that they have evidently been lacking during the season thus far, and the chances of mounting a challenge against Red Bull and Verstappen seem more and more unlikely by the day.
Round 8 of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship kicks off on Sunday, at Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, for the Canadian Grand Prix.