This was not the easiest of Sundays for Scuderia Ferrari, which comes away from the United States with a fifth place for Carlos Sainz and a seventh for Charles Leclerc at the end of the 2023 Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix in which the limitations of the SF-23 in race trim were evident after both drivers had been in the fight for pole position yesterday.
The race. Carlos got away well to keep third place, but he soon had to give his best to Max Verstappen, who was charging the order. After switching from the Medium to the Hard tyres, Carlos found his SF-23 hard to drive, which meant his pace was inconsistent, and in the final third of the race, he also lost out to George Russell and finished fifth. Charles’ race followed a similar pattern. After starting from seventh, he switched from Medium to Hard tyres one lap before his team-mate, which dropped him out of the top ten. He had the same problems with pace but eventually fought his way back to finish where he started.
On to Imola. Between tonight and tomorrow, the team will head back to Maranello to immediately start preparing for the Made in Italy e dell’Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, which takes place on 21 May, when further updates are planned for the SF-23. The determination of the team and drivers to do well goes without saying, especially as the Italian fans will be out in force with their support in Imola.
Carlos Sainz #55
It was a tough race for us. My first stint on the Medium was good, but we tried to undercut Fernando early, and I had to push the Hards too much immediately after coming out of the pits in order to get through the traffic. We paid the price for that, but we generally struggle with race pace. It’s frustrating, but we’ll keep working on a solution, and I’m confident we can progress as a team for the next races.
Charles Leclerc #16
I struggled with the car bottoming at high speed, which I hadn’t experienced this weekend. I had to focus on bringing the car home, so overall, it was not a great race. We must understand why we are so competitive in qualifying and off the pace in the race. We will keep pushing, and hopefully, with our upcoming upgrades, we can make a step forward.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
Once again today, the significant difference between the SF-23’s performance level in qualifying and the race was clear to see. The result reflects that Carlos and Charles found the car hard to drive. Carlos was competitive in the first stint but then struggled quite a lot to run at a consistent pace after switching to the Hards. At the same time, Charles found it difficult on the Medium in the opening laps and only got into a good rhythm in the final stages.
Therefore, finding consistency in the car’s performance has to be our number one priority, especially in tyre management, so that the confidence the drivers have in qualifying can be replicated in the race.
We will now continue to work flat out in Maranello on developing updates and optimising the car package, with the aim of already getting more out of it at the next race in front of our Tifosi in Imola.