Scuderia Ferrari came away from the Belgian Grand Prix with a third place courtesy of a combative Carlos Sainz and a sixth from Charles Leclerc. This was Sainz’s seventh podium of the season and today’s points see the team still second in the Constructors’ championship. Charles had some bad luck, having to pit in the very first laps when a visor tear-off got caught in the right front brake duct on his F1-75, which was causing the brakes to overheat.
Lack of pace. Carlos got a really good start from pole position and led in the early stages, but after his first pit stop, it was clear that Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez had better pace, so that the Spaniard then concentrated on maintaining third place, fending off the threat from George Russell, although the Englishman never really managed to attack him. Charles, who had anyway started towards the back end of the grid because of the penalty incurred from changing the power unit, then had to try and fight his way up the order for a second time after the tear-off problem. He had made it from 14th to ninth but the stop dropped him to 17th. He staged a great recovery, crossing the line in fifth place, but he was eventually classified sixth, having picked up a 5 second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, with two laps remaining.
Straight back on track. The Championship is back in action next week on a completely different type of track, the twisty Zandvoort circuit and its parabolic corners. Part of the team is heading straight for the Netherlands, while the remainder return to Maranello where an in-depth analysis will look into the reasons for the difference in pace between its cars and those of the rival team with which the Scuderia has been fighting wheel to wheel all season long.
Carlos Sainz #55
The car felt quite good today and we did our best, but our pace just wasn’t quick enough this weekend to hold on for the win. We ran a solid race from start to finish, with good pit stops and strategy calls, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Red Bulls behind, as they simply had more pace.
Time to analyse and prepare the next week's race at Zandvoort.
Charles Leclerc #16
We started well, then on lap 3 we unfortunately had a tear-off in the brake duct that meant I had to pit when I was in P9. That set us back quite a bit. From that moment on, I knew that it was going to be a difficult race.
The feeling in the car was quite ok, but compared to our competitors we were lacking pace. They made a huge step leading up to this weekend and we have to work on closing the gap.
Mattia Binotto Team Principal & Managing Director
Today’s race did not live up to our expectations. Red Bull has done a great job and the performance difference between them and us this weekend, in terms of pace and also tyre degradation was clear to see. Carlos drove a good race. Charles was unlucky in the very early stages and from then on he had even more of a job on his hands.
As a team, we just have to roll up our sleeves and continue to improve the performance of our car. The next race at Zandvoort features a track with completely different characteristics and we are ready to give it our best shot as always, aiming for the win.