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Styria GP: Qualifying team notes - Ferrari

NEWS STORY
26/06/2021

Qualifying did not live up to the standard seen so far this season for Scuderia Ferrari. However, the result was not a surprise given the performance over the three hours of free practice. Charles Leclerc was seventh fastest with a lap in which he got everything out of the SF21. As for Carlos Sainz, he was 12th fastest thus failing to make to the cut to Q3. It was always a possibility that one of our drivers might miss out, given how short is the track and how close are the gaps between the teams that are just behind the leaders.

As usual, the points are only given out after the chequered flag has fallen at the end of the Grand Prix. The Styrian Grand Prix starts at 3pm CET, with the threat of rain hanging over it, which introduces an additional variable along with the usual ones. Charles and Carlos will be aiming to score as many points as possible, exploiting the work done yesterday relating to tyre behaviour over long runs. It definitely won't be easy and the team will be looking to exploit any opportunity. That includes being able to run two strategies, given that Carlos has a free choice of tyre compound with which to start the race.

Charles Leclerc: P7 is not the ideal starting position, but it was in line with our expectations. Our race pace has been pretty solid this weekend, and we did not want to sacrifice it for a slightly better qualifying result. Tomorrow is what counts, and if our pace is as good as it has been so far this weekend, I am confident that we can gain some positions and bring home some good points.

I am very happy with my lap and put everything I had into it without making mistakes. It was difficult with the traffic, especially in Q1. Then, in Q3, we decided to put on new tyres out of sync with the others to run in free air.

We have worked well and I feel confident in the car. We will prepare as well as possible for tomorrow and hopefully we can have a good one.

Carlos Sainz: This was not such a good day. Yesterday we struggled with our one-lap pace, so we were not expecting miracles. Qualifying outside the top ten is not ideal, but with such a tight field on such a short track you have to nail all three sectors and I was missing a bit in sector 2. There's some consolation in the fact that I have a free choice of tyre compound on which to start and we will try and make the most of that. Yesterday, our long run pace was not bad, so I hope I can get a good result.

This afternoon is not the end of the weekend and we'll fight until the very last lap to get the best result possible.

Laurent Mekies: As expected, this was a difficult session. Compared with what we have seen so far on Saturday afternoons, we were unable to reproduce our usual performance level over a single flying lap. We tackled this Grand Prix with a slightly different approach to usual, working mainly towards the race after the problems we encountered last week in France. That's not a mitigating factor, because I don't think we could have done much better than this, looking at the performance of our main rivals, but it is something to bear in mind when looking at today's results. From what we saw yesterday, our long run pace is not bad compared to our closest competitors and we will try and exploit that tomorrow afternoon.

Every day of this season is an opportunity to improve and to help make the team strong and today was no exception, an additional experience to make the most of, for the short and the long term.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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