Ferrari left expecting more in terms of pace

Ferrari left expecting more in terms of pace

Ferrari left expecting more in terms of pace

Ferrari had an underwhelming Chinese Grand Prix, after challenging Red Bull in the previous races, they were beaten by McLaren this time around.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished the Formula 1 race in Shanghai fourth and fifth respectively, as Lando Norris beat them in the McLaren splitting the Red Bulls, Max Verstappen first and Sergio Perez third.

It was a change of the pecking order we have for accustomed to since the start of the 2024 F1 season as Ferrari seemed to be the best team behind Red Bull while McLaren seemed to be fighting for third best with Mercedes.

Ferraris boss Fred Vasseur reflected on his team’s weekend in China, he said: “I’m not sure if we could have expected more in terms of finishing higher up the order today given our grid positions.

“However, I was expecting more in terms of pace than we demonstrated in the race,” he admitted. “We now need to understand why that was, especially on the Hards and improve in time for Miami both in qualifying and the race because it’s all very close currently with hundredths of a second making a big difference.

“We had put both drivers on a two-stop strategy and Charles did a good job of lengthening his stint on the Mediums, but when the Virtual Safety Car was called, we went for a one stop, with the hope of being able to fight for a podium finish,” he explained.

“Unfortunately, Carlos had stopped just before the Safety Car and so he too had to switch to a single stop. This naturally meant he had to be a bit conservative in the final part of the race, but he still brought home the best result that was possible today,” the Frenchman concluded.

Leclerc not satisfied while Sainz laments tough race

Leclerc, again wasn’t in top form this weekend, and barely beat Sainz in qualifying he latter even surviving a qualifying crash in Q2 but made it to Q3 despite that.

Finishing ahead of his teammate, the Monegasque added: “We’re not completely satisfied with our result as a team today. We have two things to focus on leaving Shanghai, one is our qualifying trim and the other our pace on the Hards, which was our main challenge today.

“Our strategy and performance were strong until the Safety Car, but after that we were all on the same strategy and it was a bit more difficult for us to get back to speed on the Hard tyres.

“What will be essential is the upcoming upgrades, as they will define the direction we will take for the next part of the season,” Leclerc concluded.

Sainz’s Chinese weekend was a far cry from the level we have seen from him so far in 2024, he reflected: “A tough race on a challenging track for us this weekend.

“The first few corners were far from ideal and with the traffic we decided to pit early to switch to the Hard tyres. Some laps later, under the Safety Car, we stayed out on that tyre and went to the end to finish fifth. In any case, overall we struggled more than expected and the result today is not what we wanted.

“We will review everything before going to Miami, where I’m confident we can return to the form we showed in the previous weekends,” the Spaniard concluded.

Ferrari are still second in the 2024 F1 Constructors’ Championship behind Red Bull and ahead of McLaren in third.