Join DRAKE at STAKE F1 PARTNER
16 LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF-24, action during the Formula 1 AWS Grand Prix du Canada 2024, 9th round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship from June 07 to 09, 2024 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montréal, Canada - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Ferrari flop in Montreal qualifying after the highs of Monaco

16 LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF-24, action during the Formula 1 AWS Grand Prix du Canada 2024, 9th round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship from June 07 to 09, 2024 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montréal, Ferrari flop in Montreal qualifying after the highs of Monaco - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

After the highs of their Monaco victory, Ferrari came to grips with a Montreal flop after both cars slumped out of qualifying for the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix in Q2, missing an opportunity to pile more pressure on the Formula 1 World Championship-leading Red Bull team and their ace Max Verstappen.

Riding the momentum from Charles Leclerc’s Monaco victory two weeks ago and a third place from Carlos Sainz, Ferrari arrived in Montreal favoured by many to make it two wins in a row.

But that appears unlikely now after a miserable qualifying effort in which both cars failed to advance to the last 10 shootout for pole position with Leclerc starting Sunday’s race well back in 11th with Sainz alongside in 12th.

Locked in a tight battle with Red Bull for top spot in the Constructors standings, Ferrari may have blown a golden opportunity to cut in to their rival’s 24-point lead.

While championship leader Max Verstappen will start on the front row alongside Mercedes pole sitter George Russell, his Mexican teammate Sergio Perez lines 16th on the grid unable to get out of the first qualifying phase.

Leclerc: We simply weren’t at the level we need to be

LECLERC Charles (mco), Scuderia Ferrari SF-24, portrait during the Formula 1 AWS Grand Prix du Canada 2024, 9th round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship from June 07 to 09, 2024 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montréal, Canada - Photo Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

After Qualy on Saturday, Leclerc lamented: “We have to review this qualifying session and FP3 (free practice three), as we simply weren’t at the level we need to be. Tyre management will play a big role in the race so we have to focus on that and will push to gain positions in the race.

“With mixed weather conditions, there may be some opportunities coming our way and we must be ready to make the most of them,” said  Leclerc, who is also hoping to close the gap on Verstappen in the F1 driver standings with a good result at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. ”

Montreal’s weather has been unpredictable, with Mother Nature throwing everything from hail to brilliant sunshine at drivers, making preparations for Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race a challenge.

For Ferrari, the struggle has been finding the right tyres and grip on the recently resurfaced island layout, which Sainz alluded to in his Saturday report: It’s been a tough Saturday for us. We had trouble with grip and couldn’t get the tyres to work properly.

“On the last lap in Q2 I tried everything but unfortunately I didn’t nail the last corner and that’s where I lost my chances of advancing to Q3. I stay positive and I think we can still bring home some good points. We will give it our best shot,” assured the Spaniard.

Vasseur: We’re losing more than 50% of the gap in turn one

VASSEUR Frédéric (fra), Team Principal & General Manager of the Scuderia Ferrari, portrait during the Formula 1 AWS Grand Prix du Canada 2024, 9th round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship from June 07 to 09, 2024 on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montréal, Canada - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Ferrari F1 boss Frederic Vasseur gave the team’s side of the story: “For sure when you are 11th and 12th you are not happy. We struggled a bit more from the morning to switch on the tyres for turn one, because we are losing more than 50% of the gap in turn one.

“It’s tight. At the end of the day Perez is 16th. It is like it is but we have to be pleased with the fact that the fight is so tight. Everyone in the team is rather frustrated at the way today’s qualifying went. Since FP3, we were lacking something a little bit everywhere, even if yesterday it seemed we were going pretty well and the pace was there over a long run in both wet and dry conditions.”

Regarding Sunday’s race, Vasseur said: “We will have to wait and see what the weather has in store because it’s the big unknown. I remember that last year here we also started from far back and we managed to move up the order.”

Ferrari have won the Canadian Grand Prix on 12 occasions, the last time with Sebastian Vettel in 2018. Prior to that the great Italian team last won in Montreal back in 2004 when Michael Schumacher did the business. The German remains ted with Lewis Hamilton with seven wins at the venue.  (Reporting by Steve Keating; Additional Reporting by Agnes Carlier)