F1: A break that raises concern: Has the Ferrari bubble been punctured?

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Leclerc remains optimistic despite a very tough Sunday and Sainz admits the car is not what he wants for his style.

Leclerc, on his return to the pits, after an engine breakdown at Montmelo.
Leclerc, on his return to the pits, after an engine breakdown at Montmelo.AP

The moment everything was ruined, Charles Leclerc Leading in Montmelo with more than 13 seconds George Russell And there was a bonus of the fastest lap (1:27.300). His pace on the medium tyres, which he had just put on after a stellar performance pit stop At 2.2 seconds, it was even better than the soft one he started with. Whereas, Max Verstappen He couldn’t find a way to sink his teeth into Russell’s Mercedes and sergio parezzo beat him from behind. Then Monegasque launched a radio message that broke Ferrari’s heart.

“We didn’t find anything in the car and it was Charles who warned us,” he explains. Mattia Binotto After the race, without being able to confirm the origin of the brakes. At least the absence of smoke made the major scuderia Hopefully it was the turbo or MGU-H and not the internal combustion engine. That theory is corroborated by the fact that the SF75 can reach the garage.

Upon arrival, as Binotto confirmed, Leclerc’s instinctive reaction was to congratulate the team’s staff one by one and send messages of encouragement. Meanwhile, mechanics removed the power unit and sent it to the factory, where it will be tested today. Enrico Gualtieri, chief engineer.’ In the absence of knowing whether they will be able to recover it for Monaco, the least demanding race of the World Cup in terms of performance – the truth is that at Maranello they again face a problem they thought that he has left behind.

“I had a bad time and you can see it from the outside”

Reliability, which has plagued Red Bull from Bahrain to Australia, is now a concern for Ferrari. The first order thing is further forgotten, given that in 2021 they did not even reach the threshold of three changes, which gives rise to penalties. Of course, last year’s priorities were very different for the Cavallino brand, which had never been seen with real chances of victory to squeeze its engine. The horizon seems very different today, given that Leclerc has lost the World Cup lead and Red Bull already reigns in the Constructors’ Championship.

emergency also affected carlos sanzo, fourth at the end of a race which was outlined in red. “I failed the start process,” the Madrid native admitted during his joint appearance with Leclerc. And his self-criticism went further into the Sky F1 microphone: “I’m having a hard time with this car, you can see it clearly from the outside. Improvements work, but I feel comfortable with its balance.” Doesn’t. It’s not what I want for myself. Riding style and so I can’t show the level of last year”, Carlos admitted.

He would have added an exit from the track, forced by the wind, into the ripsol corner, to make up for the error with the anti-stall system. The loss of the flat bottom resulted in notable aerodynamic losses and, according to the estimates of its engineers, it lost about one second per lap. As the checkered flag fell, Binotto wanted to comfort her: “It was a tough day, but the important thing is that you fight to the end. Sooner or later, your work will pay off.”

manage the fall

Ferrari need the best Sainz not only to stop the bleeding against Red Bull, but to confirm that the improvements implemented at Barcelona, ​​earlier in the year, work in the medium and long term. Above all, dangerous tire degradation had to be dealt with, as the Austrian team continued to delve into its weight-savings and aerodynamic updates. Despite the logistical disappointment caused by retirement, Leclerc’s analysis invited optimism: “We improved Suitablein race pace and tire management”.

In fact, Pirelli’s good care was in Ferrari’s favor this time, to the detriment of its adversary. In the first stint, Leclerc rode 21 laps on the new soft, while Verstappen only lasted 16 on that compound (counting the three laps accumulated in the previous one). Similarly, during his six laps in the yellow shoes he averaged about 1.2 seconds faster than the Dutchman, between 1:27.0 and 1:27.2. And when Binotto was asked about Mercedes’ progress, the Swiss gave a scathing answer: “Charles was ahead of him by more than six tenths per lap, so if he had reached the finish line, he would have lost about 40 seconds. “

And finally, there is relief, always helped in F1 of shared ailments. According to some last minute rumors in paddockmechanics of Christian Horner Due to the low fuel temperature, they were exposed to a few minutes of extreme stress on the starting grid. Aston Martin suffered the same setback in Miami. To this would be added Verstappen’s difficulty when activating the DRS against Russell. “It complicated everything, but we found a strategy to come out,” he revealed. crazy maxWho had faced something similar on Saturday during the deciding phase of Q3.

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