Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had a difficult race on Sunday after Ferrari made a ‘mistake’ in the cooling of the cars. Leclerc and Sainz finished the sprint race in fifth and eighth place, but often had to take their foot off the gas due to cooling problems.
At Ferrari, they decided to prioritize Sunday’s race and made sacrifices during the sprint qualifying and sprint race. For example, they opted not to use new soft tires in SQ3 and saved the best tires for the race on Sunday, ensuring they have extra new tires available.
We used our worst tire sets and saved the good ones for Sunday’s race. Hopefully, this strategy will help,” says Sainz. “However, it’s not ideal to rely so much on lift and coast because the temperature was very, very tricky. We couldn’t push during the race.
I hope that improves because I’ve never had to use as much lift and coast as I did today. I had to do it so many times that I couldn’t even push the brakes. I had to make sure I used DRS to be fast on the straights.
Ferrari team boss Frederic Vasseur admitted that Ferrari made a mistake in terms of cooling.
We made a small mistake with the cooling, and from the second lap, we asked the drivers to apply an incredible amount of lift and coast,” says Vasseur. “We decided to partly sacrifice the sprint race to have a better position for the grand prix on Sunday. We’ll see if it was a good decision.
We didn’t use new tires during sprint qualifying, so Charles has a set of new soft tires, and Carlos has a set that has only completed two laps. They both have two sets of new mediums.
The new set of soft tires could benefit Leclerc at the start, but Leclerc doesn’t expect to stay in the lead for long if he manages to overtake Verstappen at the start.
“I’m sure that if I overtake Verstappen at the start, it will be irrelevant because after two or three laps, he’ll pass me again,” said Leclerc.