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today is May 30, 2023

Ferrari were left frustrated by their lack of race pace in the Miami Grand Prix and confused by the differences between the performance of their cars.

Carlos Sainz Jnr finished fifth, picking up a five-second time penalty for pit lane speeding on the way, and was classified 37 seconds behind Red Bull’s race winner Max Verstappen. He expressed his surprise at Ferrari’s struggles during the race, saying he could not push without his tyres suffering.

Team mate Charles Leclerc also had a poor afternoon, finishing seventh. Team principal Frederic Vasseur said his two drivers suffered different problems during the race.

“Yesterday I think the pace was decent but we were not able to put everything together,” said Vasseur following the race on Sunday. “And today it’s quite similar.

“The first stint went pretty well for Carlos, he lost a couple of seconds on [the first] third of the race, and he lost 25s on the last two thirds. We are far too much inconsistent from one car to the other, and from one lap to the other. We have to understand why.”

Leclerc finished 10 seconds behind his team mate, but his performance on the medium and hard tyres contrasted with Sainz’s experience of the two compounds.

“It’s not just [struggling during] the race, because at some stages of the race we were okay-ish,” added Vasseur.

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“But again, the first stint on the medium for Carlos, he lost five seconds in 18 laps. I think this stage of the race was okay for us, and for Charles it was the opposite. He was in a good shape at some stages of the second stint with the hard, and he was struggling much more in the first part of the race.

“But we really need to focus our attention on this because it’s key for us. And we are aware we have to do a step.”

Vasseur said the problem of inconsistency did not stem from switching between compounds, because the change in handling and performance of one car when moving to a different tyre was not replicated by the other.

“With Charles we were more performing on the hards, and with Carlos we’re much more performing on the medium. And even with the same tyres, from one lap to the other one, we are a bit inconsistent,” he added.

Leclerc, who qualified a second off pole in seventh place after crashing in qualifying, was just as puzzled how Ferrari’s race pace struggles had manifested in different ways across the two cars.

“It was really difficult,” said Leclerc after the race on Sunday. “We were just speaking about it with Carlos, and we basically agreed that we have a car that is so incredibly difficult to be on the limit.

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“On my side, I don’t know what was going on but in the high-speed I had the car moving a lot. Not from the rear, but just the overall platform of the car was touching like crazy. So we will check the car and everything. But it didn’t feel great.

“As I was saying with Carlos, it was just a very inconsistent car today. So I’m just trying to bring the car to the end.”

Leclerc suspects Sainz did not have the same problem as he did. “I cannot speak for Carlos. I haven’t seen [his race]. I don’t think he was complaining about it that much speaking to him. But for me, it was quite crazy. So I don’t know what was going on, really.”

Leclerc sarcastically commented it was “obviously another great, great race” for him.

He said it will be “very important” Ferrari’s coming upgrades work “because now we are very far away. Like very, very far away.

“For me, I really struggle to find any explanations why we are so far in the race and so close in qualifying. This is really something we need to work on.”

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