Ferrari showed strong race pace at the Styrian GP. Unfortunately, this pace is not a sign of their problems being rectified.
Charles Leclerc’s had a nightmare opening lap, when he dropped to the back of the grid after an unplanned pitstop requiring a change of front wing. A masterful drive from Leclerc in his SF21 saw him fight back to P7. At the same time, Carlos Sainz, who started outside the points, drove a brilliant strategy and overcut his contenders allowing the team to rack up strong points to finish the weekend. Sainz and Leclerc finished at P6 and P7 respectively.
Immediately after the race, Sainz was asked about how the car felt in the race trim. He responded: “It felt very strong. Right from the beginning when we started on the medium tires and the others started to pit, we managed to overcut, pretty much, the whole midfield. Showing really good pace, it was very similar, actually to the Redbulls today. We were very surprised by that.”
Given their dismal performance during the race at France, it was hopeful that Ferrari made some strides fixing their tire degradation. Especially after a strong showing at Styria.
Sainz explained their speed at the Redbull Ring was more track specific as they had not solved their problems from France.
“It is unfortunately, at the moment, track specific. The car is very similar to [at] Paul Ricard, and we haven’t really found a solution or reason for our Paul Ricard struggles.”
“So we expect our race pace to swing up and down, depending on the circuit. Then we’ll really find the reason why that happened in Paul Ricard.”