No points. This is the meager haul brought home by Ferrari at the Australian Grand Prix, one of the most chaotic and talked about in recent years of Formula 1.
Charles Leclerc immediately out at turn 3, during the first lap, due to an unfortunate contact with Lance Stroll judged by the race stewards as a race contact.
Carlos Sainz Jr. on the other hand was first forced to put up a good comeback after a pit stop shortly before the first Safety Car of the day entered the track, then the 5″ penalty received for a contact with Fernando at the first corner Alonso after the second restart, then canceled – the restart – by the red flag but which still cost Sainz not only fourth place, but also the Top 10.
At the end of the most chaotic race of the year (at least for the moment…), Ferrari team principal Frédéric Vasseur took to the microphones of Sky Sport to take stock of the Ferrari weekend. The Reds have appeared in better form than in their first two outings, but a series of causes have kept them out of the positions that count.
Vasseur, what’s the mood like in Ferrari after this race?
“There is frustration. In the end we did a good job. Carlos had some bad luck with the Safety Car and the red flag which led him to have to recover. Then we collected this penalty. We can argue for hours about this penalty. The frustration comes from the fact that they didn’t give us time to discuss with Carlos to take countermeasures. While last week a different decision was made with Alonso.”
What do you think of the contact between Sainz and Alonso at the second restart?
“The incident… If you ask everyone in the paddock, 50% will say it’s a normal racing incident, others will say it’s Carlos’ fault. For sure we see it as a racing incident, but the most important thing in a case like this would have been to discuss it with both the pilots and the marshals”.
Stewards remove Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari SF-23 from the circuit
Photo by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images
How do you judge the progress made by the SF-23 this weekend?
“The effect of the DRS is huge in Melbourne. This means that when we were close to Gasly it was easy for him to stay close as he was down in second. But it is also true that the cars were much closer here than in previous weekends. We did progress in performance and consistency, but the result is not what we wanted. Yesterday we were already frustrated, because we had more potential but we were unable to express it. We made progress, but the frustration with today’s decision will give another boost , a further boost to the team”.
What do you think instead of what happened to Leclerc?
“Charles is frustrated too. For him it was a racing incident, he didn’t blame Stroll. They were side by side and there was contact. I honestly believe it was a very similar contact to Carlos and Alonso “.
Were the advances of the SF-23 made on a purely aerodynamic or mechanical level?
“Our steps forward aren’t purely aerodynamic because we didn’t bring any significant changes this weekend compared to Jeddah. It’s a question of having found a better balance for the single-seater. Today the car was easier to manage in the race.”
After the first three races of the season, what is the balance related to the performance of the SF-23?
“I think Ferrari was good today. We were fighting and we weren’t too far from the top if we consider that Carlos was forced to come from behind. But that’s not enough. Our goal isn’t to finish fourth. We have to put everything together and not we’re too far away. We need to be further away in the race.”
Is there any possibility that the FIA can re-discuss the penalty given to Sainz?
“I don’t think the FIA can review the penalty to Sainz. We’ll discuss it with the stewards and for me it’s a shame, because there are double standards. Just remember what happened last week with Alonso, with the penalty given and then removed. It would have been enough to wait 5 more minutes and then discuss it”.
Leave a Reply