Scuderia Ferrari leaves Spain with ten points courtesy of Carlos Sainz’s fifth place. Charles Leclerc finished just outside the points in 11th place, having started from pit lane, as the team decided to change several components following the difficulties he experienced yesterday in qualifying. Carlos and Charles both felt an improvement from the car thanks to the updates introduced here, but the inconsistency of the car meant Sainz was unable to fight for a podium finish and Charles missed out on points.
The race. Carlos started on Soft tyres and held second place off the line, while Charles found that his Hard tyres did not deliver the performance he had expected. For his first stop, Sainz took on Medium tyres and then worked on defending his third place, once he had been passed by a faster Lewis Hamilton for second. Unfortunately, Carlos was also unable to fend off George Russell and dropped to fourth. At his second stop, he took on Hard tyres, eventually crossing the finish line behind Sergio Perez in the Red Bull. In his first stint, Charles was struggling a lot on the Hards, swapping over to new Softs on lap 15 after which his pace was good enough to take him to just outside the points places. He made his second stop on lap 42, taking on Hards once again, this set worked better than his first one and he continued to try and get into the top ten. However, for a long time, the Monegasque found himself in a train of cars that were able to use DRS and it was only in the final two laps that he could mount an attack on Pierre Gasly to get into the top ten, but he was unable to do so.
Canada in a fortnight. The World Championship resumes in two weeks’ time when the Canadian Grand Prix takes place in Montreal from 16 to 18 June.
Carlos Sainz #55
It was a tough race. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fight at the front as our pace is pretty much dictated by tyre management and degradation. I know Sundays have been frustrating so far this season, but we gave it our all on track this weekend and we will keep working on this new package and on developing our car.
Thank you to everyone out there in the grandstands cheering for us every day! It’s always a pleasure to race at home.
Charles Leclerc #16
Today in terms of balance the car was alright, but the performance was not at all consistent. We ran the Hards twice, but with the first set, I struggled a lot, while with the second one, it was reasonably good and I was catching Pierre (Gasly) towards the end.
We really must analyse all the data, because while the upgrades seem to work as expected, we are always slightly caught out by what is happening with the tyres and we struggle to get them in the right window which is a big problem. We ran the same tyre twice in the same race and we went from having a very bad car to quite a good one towards the end of the race. Now we will go back to the factory and find out what went wrong yesterday in qualifying because that’s what put us in a tricky situation today. There’s a lot of work to do.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
We made a step forward this weekend in terms of our qualifying pace, with Carlos on the front row after the best Saturday of his season so far. However, it is clear that, in terms of race pace, Red Bull and Mercedes are quicker than us.
As for the upgrades, I think we have made a step forward overall if you compare this weekend with Miami. Clearly, we know it is still not enough. Our problem is not our outright performance, it is our lack of consistency. Charles’ first set of Hards was a sort of a nightmare but then on his last set of the same compound he was happy with the balance: we must assess this inconsistency. Now we will focus completely on this issue before Canada. For sure we will continue to develop the car but this is a matter of improving by tenths of a second, whereas in the race we are looking for seconds at the moment. There is something in the car that we must unlock if we want to move forward.