Damning assessment of Ferrari delivered as they fall ‘behind three other teams’

Michelle Foster
Charles Leclerc makes a pit stop for Ferrari. Britain July 2023

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc makes a pit stop. Britain July 2023

Ferrari were left “licking their wounds” after their strategy imploded at the British Grand Prix with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz only just hanging on to score points.

This time 12 months ago Ferrari were the team on the top step of the podium at the British Grand Prix as Sainz converted his pole position into a maiden race win on a Sunday in which both drivers had a shot at the victory.

This season they couldn’t even reach the podium with an overly conservative strategy forcing Charles Leclerc into a two-stopper when the Safety Car came out late in the race while Sainz, sticking to one stop, lost three places in one lap on his old hard tyres.

Ferrari slump to only fifth fastest team

Ferrari’s lack of pace, and “dithering” as Sky Sports’ David Croft put it, were in sharp contrast to that of McLaren and Mercedes who each put a car on the podium with Lando Norris second to Lewis Hamilton’s P3.

Both McLarens and Mercedes beat the Ferrari team-mates with Fernando Alonso and even Alex Albon also ahead.

“That was probably as disappointing a race as they could get,” Kravitz declared to Sky F1. “Charles Leclerc in ninth and Carlos Sainz 10th, so only three points.

“Charles Leclerc held P4 but couldn’t close on the McLarens, Sainz dropped back to George Russell. Both of them lost out absolutely big time to everybody else [with the Safety Car].

“Fred Vasseur called it too conservative, he’s annoyed with the way it went. They were trying to pull the trigger with the pit stops and force others into pitting after them, nobody took the bait and they suffered very badly for it. They’re really licking their wounds.

“Are Ferrari still ahead of Aston Martin? No, Fernando Alonso was ahead of them, helped by the Safety Car I know. Are they still ahead of Mercedes? No, Mercedes were ahead of them. Are they still ahead of McLaren? No, they’re not.

“I’m afraid Ferrari are now behind those three other teams.”

Leclerc admits the weekend was more difficult than Ferrari had expected as their SF-23 was just lacking in pace.

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“Coming into the weekend I think we expected a difficult weekend but definitely not to that extent,” he revealed.

“In qualifying it was a bit better than what we expected, in the race I would say it was a bit worse than what we expected, so we need to work on that.

“We didn’t have much degradation, just the pace of the car wasn’t there.”

In fact such was his lack of pace that the Monégasque driver wasn’t able to attack Albon for eighth.

“I was trying to attack with the new medium,” he said, “but Alex had the DRS on the car in front so it was impossible for me to make a move.”

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