Scuderia Ferrari leaves the Circuit of the Americas with a fourth place and a sixth in the 2023 Formula 1 US Grand Prix courtesy of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, respectively. The team split the strategies: a two-stop for Carlos and a one-stop for Charles. The two-stopper proved to be the way to go and that allowed Carlos to drive an aggressive race. In the final 15 laps, Charles was vulnerable to attack and lost some places.
Two strategies. Charles did not get the best of starts from pole position, losing the lead to Lando Norris. Carlos meanwhile got off the line really well and moved up to third. Almost immediately, all the drivers, but especially the Ferrari pair, had to start managing degradation on the Medium tyre. Sainz stopped on lap 17 to switch to a new set of Mediums, while Charles did a good job of extending his stint to lap 23, when he switched to Hards, in line with the team’s decision to go for just one pit stop. The choice did not pay off and in the final quarter of the race, Charles was struggling with severe lack of pace which saw him drop down to sixth place while fighting tooth and nail to fend off George Russell. As for Carlos, he moved up the order, running a consistent pace and pulling off a nice passing move on Russell for fourth place. In the closing stages, the Spaniard was one of the quickest cars on track and even closed in on Norris hoping to battle for third place.
Mexico. Now, attention turns to the next round, the Mexico City Grand Prix, next weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Carlos Sainz #55
I think today’s result was the best we could do. The pace was decent and solid throughout the race and we even closed the gap to the car in P3 during the last laps. Unfortunately the competitors ahead were faster and we couldn’t quite reach them.
We are not where we want to be and we knew it was going to be a tough one, but now we need to quickly switch our focus to Mexico and prepare for next week.
Charles Leclerc #16
It’s fair to say that we didn’t go with the right strategy today. On paper, our numbers said that the one and two-stop strategies were very similar, but in reality, this was not the case. I felt good in the car all weekend and our race pace wasn’t bad, so it’s a shame that we didn’t bring home a better result.
We have to use the rest of this season to learn as much as possible and make sure we extract the maximum out of every opportunity in the future.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
We cannot be happy with a fourth and a sixth place, especially as Charles started from pole position. As for Carlos, the race management went quite well, while the main problem today was with Charles’ strategy, decided on before the start, but which did not work out and therefore compromised his race. Our data suggested that there was not a particularly big difference between a one and a two-stop strategy, but events proved us wrong.
As things worked out, we clearly had to switch our drivers’ positions to try and get the best result possible and Charles did his very best in managing to stay ahead of Russell. Now we head to Mexico, knowing there are several areas where we need to improve if we wish to reach the goals we have set ourselves.