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Austria Sprint team notes - Ferrari

NEWS STORY
01/07/2023

Carlos Sainz secured his first podium of the season, taking a brilliant third place in the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint race, run in very tricky conditions, with a track that was wet at the start and gradually dried out enough for slicks to be used for the final laps.

Charles Leclerc had a tough time of it, starting in the middle of the pack, having picked up a penalty for impeding Oscar Piastri in the Sprint Shootout earlier in the day.

At the start, Carlos managed to get the better of Lando Norris to move up to fourth and after that, he was an interested spectator as Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg duelled just ahead of him. On lap 12, the Mexican passed the Haas before Sainz made short work of the German, after which he maintained a solid pace to claim his first 2023 podium. Right from the early stages, Charles was involved in a really tight scrap with Esteban Ocon for eighth place. The Monegasque tried several times to get past, but ended up losing a place to Norris. At this point, he and the team decided to switch to slicks as the track was drying and several drivers had already adopted the same tactic. On lap 18, Leclerc changed from Intermediates to Soft slicks, which dropped him to 14th. In the few laps remaining he managed to move up to 12th at the flag.

Tomorrow will be a clean slate, starting from the result of yesterday's qualifying, with the weather forecast for dry weather and Charles and Carlos starting from second and third on the grid. Today's wet race provided no useful information regarding race pace so, to prepare for tomorrow's 71 laps, the team will rely mainly on data from yesterday's only free practice session.

Carlos Sainz: It wasn't an easy Saturday but I'm happy to be P3 today after how hectic the start of the day had been, with a brake issue in SQ1 and having only one lap to progress to SQ2! I would have loved to have that set of new Softs in SQ3 but, considering everything, qualifying P5 wasn't too bad.

Then the wet Sprint race was also very challenging. The car was tricky in the high speed sections, but we managed to bring home this third place, which I think was the maximum today.

Now all our focus is on tomorrow, where I hope we can confirm the good step forward we have made as a team and bring home a good result.

Charles Leclerc: There is a lot of work I need to do to be better in these conditions. At least, that is the case on my side of the garage, as Carlos did well. We were on slicks but the track was only partly dry and I couldn't get a feel for it, I can't get the car in the right window and I am so far off the pace. I really struggle to drive the car and don't feel confident with it and that is reflected in my performance.

We need to focus on this from my side, for me to understand why it's not working in these conditions. It's not a question of strategy, it's just down to my pace. It might have seemed like a good fight with Ocon, but honestly, fighting down there is not what interests me. I need to make a step forward in these conditions.

For tomorrow, I believe we can be strong if it's dry, maybe not as strong as Red Bull, but we can still do something good.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: Carlos drove a perfect race, especially as this morning he had been a bit on the back foot after a brake issue in SQ1. In these conditions, Charles struggled, it was more complicated for him as he was starting from further back, he was in traffic but I'm not concerned, as we should have a dry race tomorrow, starting from the first and second row.

We need to be able to repeat the pace we showed on Friday and aim for a good result. It will be challenging as this weekend format and the changing weather means we have not been able to get a clear idea of our pace and have hardly been able to do two laps in the same conditions, or on the same tyres.

It's particularly difficult on this track, where we saw that all the drivers were very close on this short lap. But that is the same for all the teams. Tomorrow, from the starting positions we have, there's a great opportunity to bring home a lot of points.

Check out our Saturday gallery from the Red Bull Ring here.

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