Pundit lambasts Ferrari: Always only one team that doesn’t make it

Michelle Foster
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc with his hands to his visor. Ferrari Canada June 2023

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc with his hands to his visor.

Qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix saw a return to the Ferrari of yesteryear with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz paying the price for the team’s blunders.

Putting in the laps at a wet Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday afternoon, Leclerc failed to make out of Q2 as his pit wall dropped the ball when it came to his tyre strategy.

Out on intermediate tyres but having told his race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros that there’s a “line that’s really dry”, Leclerc was told to “stay” out and “set a lap time”.

He did so while everyone else was pitting for slick tyres with Leclerc only then coming in with the driver left without enough time to get his tyres into a sweet spot. “The tyres weren’t ready, come on!” he yelled at Ferrari as he finished the session down in 11th place.

The frustrated Monegasque driver later complained to the media: “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.

“And this time it was really easy to interpret the situation.”

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.”

And he wasn’t the only Ferrari driver tripped up by his pit wall with Sainz not warned about traffic, earning the driver a three-place grid penalty for impeding Pierre Gasly.

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Former racer turned Servus TV pundit Mathias Lauda declared: “It’s the team’s job to warn the drivers (about traffic). But there’s always only one team that doesn’t get it, the others can do it.”

With Leclerc starting the race from 10th on the revised grid and Sainz P11, Sky Sports pundit Ted Kravitz has warned this race could be the one that decides Ferrari’s season.

“I think for Ferrari it is a must to [score a] podium this weekend,” he said.

“If they don’t get a podium, if they let Fernando Alonso get back in with his podium habit or Mercedes get back in with a podium, following up the ones that they showed in Spain, then I think people at Ferrari will start to sweat as to where exactly this season is going.”