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Leclerc: Struggling a lot at the moment

Leclerc: Struggling a lot at the moment

Leclerc: Struggling a lot at the moment

Charles Leclerc admitted the obvious, Ferrari are struggling a lot at the moment, after being knocked out of qualifying for the British Grand Prix in Q2.

While Carlos Sainz made it into Q3 and qualified seventh, compared to 11th for Leclerc, both Ferraris were outqualified by the their customer team Haas, with Nico Hulkenberg taking sixth in the upgraded VF24.

Ferrari were clearly lost since they introduced their latest upgrade package in Barcelona, and in Silverstone they ran back to back comparisons of the new package with the previous one which they introduced at Imola.

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For qualifying they reverted to the Imola spec, and the results speak for themselves.

“We are just struggling a lot at the moment,” Leclerc told the Formula 1 media, including GrandPrix247 after qualifying in Silverstone on Saturday.

“I feel like yesterday we learned a good amount for the team by splitting the cars. That comes also with the fact that you are not really optimizing your weekend and focusing on performance only.

“Obviously today [Saturday] we lose Q3 by a tenth. It was the first time I was driving with this configuration on the dry after FP3 in the wet. All in all, we are struggling to optimize the weekend. what we did yesterday will help us long-term. However, I feel like today, we are paying a little bit the price of it,” he explained.

Ferrari’s SF-24 seemed to bounce badly with the new upgrade, and after confirming that the car is now back to the old spec, Leclerc was asked about the bouncing.

He responded: “It was a little bit better, and that is the main reason why we came back to the old package.”

Leclerc’s Monaco victory seems like a distant memory now, and when asked about the performance drop since his home race, he replied: “I won’t go too much into detail.

“For sure we’ve lost some performance since Monaco, as a matter of fact. We are looking into it. That’s also why we are doing all these tests. We came to the conclusion that it was the right choice to come back [to the old package] for this weekend, mostly because of bouncing.

“We’ll take the right decision for the future very soon. What we did yesterday was very helpful to help us take the right decision going forward,” the Monegasque concluded.

Sainz: I gave it everything out there

Speaking in Ferrari’s post qualifying brief, Sainz added: “I gave it everything out there but we knew Silverstone was going to be a tough track for us. The conditions were also very tricky so qualifying today was even more challenging.

“With hindsight, I think we could have left the garage a bit earlier for the last run, as the out-lap was messy, fighting for position with other cars and the tyres were not in the right window before the last push. Anyhow, we need to keep working to try and close the gap because our performance was not great overall.

“Still, the points are given out tomorrow, so I look forward to the race, which could be interesting with the weather,” the Spaniard concluded.

As for Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur, he summed up his team’s qualifying saying: “I think today [Saturday] we didn’t execute qualifying well enough and that meant we were unable to put everything together.

“We decided to move to the old spec for today as there was more bouncing with the new one and with the high speed corners we have at Silverstone, the trade-off of fitting the new parts wasn’t positive enough.

“In Q2 there were nine cars in one tenth and the track evolved considerably. Carlos made the cut to the final part, but Charles made a mistake in turn 13 that meant he didn’t make it to Q3.

“The last phase was also messy as Carlos was able to put together a decent lap on his first set but then we were slowed by traffic at the second attempt and he had to fight for track positions with Oscar Piastri and Fernando Alonso and couldn’t prepare the tyres in the right way.

“As for the race, I think that given our grid positions, if it rains then the race might be more chaotic and that could suit us better than a dry afternoon.

“We need to nail our strategy and execute the race perfectly if we want to bring home a decent points haul,” Vasseur concluded.

(Reporting by Agnes Carlier from Silverstone)