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    A podium, points and work to do for tomorrow

    A podium, points and work to do for tomorrow

    Austin 22 ottobre 2023

    Scuderia Ferrari drivers finished third and sixth in the Sprint at the Circuit of the Americas, to pick up nine points, one more than its closest rival in the fight for second place in the Constructors’ championship. The team also gathered plenty of useful data in terms of race pace, which will now be analysed carefully in preparation for tomorrow’s Grand Prix which gets underway at 14 local (21 CET).

    Charles. Charles got off the line very well from second on the grid, almost getting alongside Max Verstappen who defended purposefully but fairly going into turn 1. Leclerc was therefore unable to attempt a passing move and came out of the uphill left hand hairpin slower than those around him, finding himself under attack from Lewis Hamilton who managed to get ahead of him. The rest of Charles’ race did not change much. He did a good job of managing the degradation on his Medium tyres to bring home the six points for third place.

    Carlos. The team went for a more aggressive strategy for Carlos, putting him on Soft tyres to give him more grip from sixth place on the grid. In doing so, the team was also looking ahead to tomorrow, gathering data on race pace for the two compounds used. This paid off for Carlos, who managed to get ahead of the McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at the start, but later, tyre degradation over the 19 laps meant the Spaniard was passed by Norris before having to settle for sixth when Sergio Perez also overtook him.

    Tomorrow. The team has a long night ahead of it, studying all the telemetry data from today in depth, listening to the drivers, as well as assessing the performance of the other cars, in preparation for the 56 laps of the Grand Prix in which Charles will start from pole and Carlos from fourth spot on the second row. 

    Charles Leclerc #16

    There was an opportunity at the start so I went for it and tried to overtake Max (Verstappen) in the first corner. I lost a position to Lewis (Hamilton) there, Mercedes were a bit stronger in terms of race pace than we expected and so now we have to work on being a step ahead for the race.
    We have quite a lot of data available for analysis, as we ran our two cars on different strategies, which helped us to gain an insight into the behaviour of the Soft compound. Hopefully this will give us an advantage tomorrow and we will do everything we can to bring home the win. 

    Carlos Sainz #55 

    Those 19 laps were tough. Choosing the Soft was a risk that we opted to take, even though we knew we would struggle with pace and degradation at the end. I started well and some good overtaking took us to P4 in the first laps, but from then on came the difficult part, all about tyre management and defending.
    Keeping Lando (Norris) and Sergio (Perez) behind was very tough and the battle with George (Russell) wasn’t easy at all, but we managed to bring it home and score some points.
    Now we focus on tomorrow, we’ve got much more info to analyse and we’ll try to maximise our Sunday. 
    Frédéric Vasseur Team Principal
    We can’t be completely satisfied with today’s race but these 19 laps were above all useful to give us a clearer picture of the situation, of where the teams stand and our options when we line up on the grid tomorrow. We split the strategies between the two cars to get as much information as possible regarding tyre behaviour over a long run.
    Carlos struggled in the middle of the race, but managed to defend from the Mercedes. Charles suffered a bit as a result of what happened at the start, but he still scored plenty of points. We start with him on pole tomorrow, but it’s still going to be a very hard challenge. We have to look at improving our race pace, getting all the potential out of our package.