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    Three points today, looking ahead to tomorrow

    Scuderia Ferrari had to settle for three points in the Qatar Sprint courtesy of a sixth place for Carlos Sainz.

    Lusail 07 ottobre 2023

    Scuderia Ferrari had to settle for three points in the Qatar Sprint courtesy of a sixth place for Carlos Sainz. Charles Leclerc took the chequered flag in seventh place but was given a five second penalty for exceeding track limits more than three times and thus finished outside the top eight places that come with points on a Saturday.

    The race. The team went for an aggressive strategy, with both cars on Soft tyres, which do not seem to be a viable tyre for tomorrow’s Grand Prix that gets underway at 20 local (19 CEST). This weekend’s sprint format meant that no teams had been able to acquire long run data and the plan for Carlos and Charles was to try and gain places after the start, by making the most of the additional grip from the softest compound and then trying to make them last to the chequered flag. At the start, things went to plan as Carlos and Charles got perfect starts to move up to third and fourth places respectively. Several Safety Car periods initially played into the hands of those on Softs, namely the Ferraris, George Russell, Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly. But when the race was on again, Max Verstappen was able to get ahead of both Ferraris. The final neutralisation period ended when there were five laps remaining and at this point, Carlos and Charles had to contend with attacks from Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton, having to settle for sixth and seventh places at the flag. Charles’ penalty dropped him to 13th.

    Plenty of data. Data from the Sprint will now be studied in detail tonight in preparation for the Grand Prix. This evening, the tyres used today will be analysed by Pirelli and a decision will be taken as to whether it will be obligatory for all drivers to make three tyre stops during the race on safety grounds, following the change to the track limits carried out for today. In that case, the decision to save a set of Medium tyres today could come into play.


    Carlos Sainz #55

    It was a very hard Sprint today. We didn't have any data on long runs so we decided to start on the Softs to try and gain some places at the start and then manage the tyres to defend our position. I managed to get a very good start and for the first few laps it looked like we could fight at the front. Unfortunately, we started losing too much due to graining compared to our rivals who were on Mediums and sixth was the best we could hold on to.
    We’ve learned important things for tomorrow and, even though it’s going to be a very challenging race for us, we’ll push until the end to get some more points.


    Charles Leclerc #16

    It was an interesting Sprint. I didn’t have any new Soft tyres left after Qualifying and the Shootout, so we went out on a used set, which was a bit more challenging in terms of management. This could give us an advantage in tomorrow’s race as the Medium compound seemed strong today and we have an extra set compared to our competitors who already used theirs in the Sprint. If we take care of the Softs, they can be good too, so it should be an interesting race.


    Frédéric Vasseur -
    Team Principal

    First of all, we offer our congratulations to Max (Verstappen) and to Red Bull on winning the Drivers’ title today. As for ourselves, the decision to go with the Soft tyre clearly did not pay off. The fact there were several Safety Car periods helped a bit, otherwise we would have been in even worse shape. So it was a case of damage limitation and we picked up a few points, so now we are already focusing on tomorrow’s Grand Prix when the main points are allocated and to aim to do better than today. For all the teams, today’s 19 laps have been useful in terms of providing long run information regarding tyre wear and tomorrow we will apply those lessons learned.

    07 ottobre, 2023