Fred Vasseur won’t be as quick to bin Carlos Sainz’s clutch as the Ferrari driver wishes, the team boss saying they need to understand exactly what the issue was in Brazil.
Lining up seventh on the Interlagos grid, a poor start saw Sainz drop back into the clutches of the Alpines and Yuki Tsunoda, who lined up 14th to 16th.
The Spaniard recovered to finish sixth, but almost immediately after crossing the line urged Ferrari to dispose of his clutch.
Carlos Sainz blames Ferrari clutch for poor start
“I just hope we bin this clutch, as soon as we’re back in Maranello,” he said over the radio.
He added more in Ferrari’s post-race press release where he blamed the clutch for his dismal start and revealed it had also been an issue during Saturday’s Sprint.
“The starts were not good due to a clutch problem that we also had yesterday and we lost some positions there,” he said.
But while Sainz thinks his clutch should be thrown away, Vasseur says Ferrari first need to understand what exactly went wrong.
“On the first start he had a false start, we need to understand exactly what’s happened on the first one,” he told the media in Sao Paulo.
Ferrari’s woes compounded by Leclerc’s DNS
Sainz, though, wasn’t the only Ferrari driver experiencing car troubles on Sunday with Charles Leclerc out of the race on the formation lap.
Set to start alongside Max Verstappen on the front row of the grid having bagged second place, Leclerc crashed on the formational lap and immediately blamed a loss of hydraulics.
“Noooo! I lost the hydraulics,” he cried over the radio. “Why the f**k am I so unlucky…why the f**k am I so unlucky!”
Vasseur revealed Ferrari have yet to establish the exact cause of the problem.
“Certainly, Charles is disappointed, just like we are, but it’s how it goes,” he said. “We haven’t understood the reason for this issue yet, and we’ll need to analyse the car.
“It was a problem with the system that controls the engine, and it shut down, but we don’t know the cause because the car hasn’t returned yet. It certainly wasn’t a driver’s error.”
He is hoping Ferrari don’t need to change Leclerc’s ahead of the next race in Las Vegas as that will mean penalties for the driver.
“Will we change the engine?” he continued. “If there are no issues with the engine, it doesn’t make sense to take a penalty for a power unit replacement. I don’t believe there are any engine problems.”
Leclerc’s DNS was Ferrari’s second in four races with Sainz not taking the start in Qatar after Ferrari discovered a fuel leak in the build-up to the Grand Prix.