Concern surrounding ‘problem child’ Ferrari following worrying development

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc walks clear of his stricken Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc was left lamenting his luck after crashing out on the formation lap at Interlagos.

With Ralf Schumacher branding Ferrari the Formula 1 “problem child”, Carlos Sainz admits to some concern over their recent reliability woes.

Sainz’s team-mate Charles Leclerc was looking at a strong podium opportunity at the very least in Brazil as he set off on the formation lap, sharing the front row with polesitter Max Verstappen.

He did not even make it back round to the grid though, his Ferrari crashing into the barriers due to what the team are blaming on a hydraulic issue.

Carlos Sainz “relatively concerned” as Ferrari push limits

Leclerc is not the only driver to have suffered a DNS in recent Ferrari history, Sainz having been unable to take the start at the Qatar Grand Prix, due to a fuel tank issue which Ferrari could not fix before the action got underway.

So, while Sainz pointed out that it is coming towards the end of the F1 2023 campaign, he acknowledges Ferrari are suffering as they battle with Mercedes to claim P2 in the Constructors’ Championship.

Asked on the F1 Nation podcast how concerned he is by these Ferrari reliability wobbles, Sainz replied: “I’m relatively concerned.

“But at the same time, it’s the end of the season, I think it’s always tough on parts, so many back-to-back [grands prix].

“Clearly, there’s teams having less issues than us. So it shows that we need to do better.

“But at the same time, we’re pushing at the limit with the battle with Mercedes and you always expose yourself. Maybe other teams are running with a bit more margin.”

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Fred Vasseur needs more time to fix “problem child” Ferrari

F1 2023 will mark a further campaign of Ferrari disappointment as their wait for fresh title glory, which has been ongoing since 2008, stretches on into another season at least.

However, six-time F1 race winner Schumacher says even in Ferrari’s glory days with brother Michael Schumacher at the wheel, success did not come overnight, and so argued that team principal Fred Vasseur needs more time to get Ferrari back on track as he comes towards the end of his first season in charge.

After a terrible Brazilian GP for Mercedes where tyre wear hamstrung the Silver Arrows, Schumacher, in his Sky Germany column, wrote: “The Mercedes weakness was actually the chance for Ferrari in the fight for second place in the Constructors’ Championship. But Ferrari didn’t have a good weekend either.

“Ferrari has always been a bit of a problem child. Fred Vasseur can’t turn the whole place inside out within six or seven months. This also took a few years for Michael, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt. At Ferrari, you need patience.”

Ferrari are 20 points behind Mercedes in the battle for P2 as F1 2023 reaches its penultimate round, the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

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