Dutch GP: Qualifying team notes - Ferrari


Qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix was complicated for Scuderia Ferrari: Carlos Sainz was sixth fastest, while Charles had to settle for ninth place after crashing into the barriers in Q3 when he was aiming for a place on the front three rows.

The first two sessions were run on a wet track, with slicks only proving viable in the decisive battle for pole in the third phase, by which time a completely dry line had appeared.

All the drivers first went out on Intermediate tyres, running non-stop as is always the case in these conditions. Carlos and Charles made the cut out of Q1 and then Q2 as a dry line gradually appeared.

In the final part, it was time for the Soft tyres, but almost immediately, Logan Sargeant crashed, bringing out the red flags. Carlos and Charles went back out on track with eight minutes remaining, but Leclerc was caught out by the fact the track was still damp off the racing line and he ended up in the barriers at turn 9, damaging his SF-23. The Monegasque therefore had to make do with the time of 1'12"665 set on his first run, which earned him ninth place. When there were just four minutes remaining, Carlos managed to get in just one flying lap, in a time of 1'11"754, good enough for sixth.

The Scuderia can expect a far from simple race tomorrow. It will be important to grasp any opportunity that presents itself to try and make up places. Overtaking is not easy at this track, but Carlos and Charles are more determined than ever to bring home a good result.

Carlos Sainz: Our performance this weekend hasn't been great and we knew it was going to be a challenging qualifying. We managed to get through to Q3 and put together some decent laps for P6 but it's obviously not where we want to be.

Tomorrow it won't be easy either, but be sure we will do our maximum to defend the position and bring home the best result possible.

Charles Leclerc: It has been a difficult weekend so far and we have struggled with our car balance since the first session. We will look into it and try to improve the car to make it more predictable.

It will be a tough race for us tomorrow, trying to fight our way up to the front. Let's see what's possible.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: It was a very busy qualifying, as is always the case when it starts on a wet track but with no rain falling, because the track evolves continuously and so it's vital to be out on track all the time. Carlos and Charles made it through to the final phase, performing very well in Q1 and Q2. Then in Q3, although the track was completely dry, conditions were still very tricky: Carlos managed to post a pretty good time, while Charles made a mistake, ending up in the barrier having gone off the dry line, which can unfortunately happen in these circumstances.

Tomorrow's race will not be easy for us, given how difficult it is to overtake and how close everyone is, but in our long runs we saw signs that lead us to believe we can make up places.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Zandvoort here.

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Published: 26/08/2023
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