Ferrari: Leclerc and Sainz face-to-face after qualifying

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Photo: Ferrari Media

It was a disappointing qualifying for Ferrari in Melbourne. A session that finished with a fifth and seventh place which, considering the performance shown by the SF-23 during FP, leaves some disappointment for not maximising the car’s potential.

A disappointing result for Maranello, that is the result of some mistakes by the team and the drivers who, at the end of Q3, said they were not satisfied for their lap. However, as mentioned, the team also made a mistake in managing the weather forecast and preparing the lap with the drivers.

In Q3, the drivers were warned of rain, from the Ferrari pitwall, 3 or 4 minutes from the end of the session. At that point Carlos Sainz decided not to change the established plans and risked preparing the last push with two warm-up laps to get the tyres up to temperature.

Charles Leclerc decided otherwise who, on the other side, acted conservatively, changing plans and preparing the last push with a single warm-up lap. However he did his attempt with tyres that were not up to temperature and ended the day in P7.

A result that annoyed the 25-year-old, who, after the session, criticized the management of qualifying by the garage, including the order in which the engineers sent the cars onto the track: Sainz followed by Leclerc himself.

“We were afraid it would rain – said Leclerc – so we decided to push. We have to see what happened with Carlos in Q3. It was clear that I had to push on that lap, but Carlos was in front in the first sector and was preparing the tyres.”

A decision that is difficult to understand as Sainz was going for two warm-up laps and Leclerc a single one. The Monegasque driver was put by the team in his teammate’s wake and forced to overtake him in the first sector of the lap.

A decision which, considering Leclerc’s words, could have created tensions between the Ferrari drivers who, as soon as the session was over, had a discussion on what happened in the interview ring: a far from serene dialogue between the two drivers.

According to expressions of Sainz captured by ‘Canal+’, characterized by different points of view on what happened.