Scuderia Ferrari came away from the Austrian Grand Prix with a further 14 points, courtesy of a fifth-place for Carlos Sainz and an eighth for Charles Leclerc.
The result was down to teamwork, the two drivers working together in the closing stages to secure fifth place, which on paper looked like the best result available given the performance of the SF21 at this track. The overall result could definitely have been better, but for a couple of incidents when Charles was forced off the track by another driver, which led to penalties being imposed by the stewards.
Strategy. The team went for different tyre choices for the start for the two drivers, opting for the Hard for Carlos to give him the longest first stint possible, while Charles was put on Mediums. As the race evolved, it showed that the strategy chosen for yesterday’s qualifying was the right one, given that all those who started ahead of the Ferrari drivers on the Softs, finished the race behind them.
It’s a bittersweet feeling. The incident on lap 1 put us on the back foot. It’s a shame because we lost a good opportunity to bring home an even better result.
From the second lap onwards, I would rank this as one of my best races so far in Formula 1. The car felt amazing, the pace was there, and I took every opportunity to make a strong recovery.
In terms of performance, we extracted the maximum from the car. This shows how much work has gone on behind the scenes and what an amazing job the team has done especially in the last week. We have to go over all the data to understand exactly how we achieved this step so that we can hopefully repeat it next week.
It was a frustrating race for me, as I felt I could have got an even better result. Splitting the strategy between me and Carlos paid off for the team in the end. I was struggling to fight my way ahead of Daniel on the Hards in the closing laps of the race and so I let Carlos by to give it a shot, which worked out well for us. Anytime I saw a gap I tried to take the opportunity. There were two close ones with Checo and I think he knows he was a little bit over the limit.
We have already spoken and cleared the air and, in the end, it’s all part of the game. A 5th and 8th place is not what we want, but I think that we did a solid job today. We’ve been working extremely hard, and every step forward is important. We have to stay consistent and continue like this and hopefully, we can confirm our strong race pace in the next few races.
Mattia Binotto Team Principal
This result is in line with our potential at this track. Fifth place was on the cards and the most we could aspire to. Carlos secured it with a great drive, while Charles definitely deserved better.
I think the decisions we made yesterday were shown to be the right ones, given how the race went. What I would highlight today is the spirit shown by our drivers, as Charles did not hesitate to make way for Carlos, who was on fresher and faster tyres. That meant we were able to get the best possible result for the team. It’s the right spirit and it’s the way to go as we continue to make progress.