Ralf Schumacher blasts ‘amateurish’ Ferrari but drivers also come under fire

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz speaking, neither happy. Miami May 2023

Ferrari team-mates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz speaking, neither happy.

Although he agrees Ferrari’s performance in qualifying was “amateurish”, Ralf Schumacher has reminded the drivers that the team sticks by them when they make mistakes.

Although the early races in this year’s championship hinted that Ferrari had put an end to last year’s strategy blunders, the mistakes were back in Saturday’s qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Not only did Ferrari fail to warn Carlos Sainz about the fast-approaching Pierre Gasly in Q1, the Spaniard hit with a three-place grid drop for impeding, but they got Charles Leclerc’s tyre strategy in Q2 horribly wrong.

While his rivals pitted for slick tyres, Leclerc noting a “dry line” on the track, Ferrari told him to stay out and set a time on the intermediate tyres.

That meant he was one of the last to swap to the slick tyres and the driver wasn’t able to get them up to temperature for his hot lap, leaving him down in 11th place on the timesheets.

He was fuming and yelled at the team: “The tyres weren’t ready, come on!”

He later declared that it’s “not the first time that something like this has happened. Quite often we are on the wrong side of such decisions in difficult situations.”

He added: “We will deal with this internally. I don’t want to say what will happen, but of course there will be a discussion and an analysis.”

Sainz also wants a chat with the team after his blocking penalty, the Spaniard saying: “I will discuss all this with the team. It was a completely disappointing Saturday.”

Schumacher agrees that Ferrari let themselves down in qualifying.

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“That’s amateurish,” he summed up the team’s performance to Sky Deutschland.

But while he wasn’t impressed with Ferrari’s pit wall, he also wasn’t happy with the drivers’ reactions.

“I think the drivers make a lot of mistakes, the team stands behind them and says little,” he said. “But the drivers scream more than the team, it has to be said.

“The question is: how do they get together?”

Leclerc will line up P10 on the Canadian Grand Prix grid with Sainz 11th after his penalty.