May29 (GMM) Ferrari is pinning its hopes on key car upgrades the legendary Italian team will unveil this weekend in Barcelona.
Red Bull headed to Monaco expecting Ferrari’s slower corners to threaten the dominance of the energy drink-owning team in both qualifying and the race.
In the end, it was another chaotic weekend – with Charles Leclerc one minute behind sixth at the checkered finish.
Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz struggled for the podium until driver and strategy errors set in – the Spaniard publicly raged on the radio.
Then he sounded resigned to Ferrari’s fate in 2023.
“I was a bit frustrated – I’m not going to lie to you,” Sainz said.
“But things like this better happen this year when clearly the car is not where we want it to be,” he told broadcaster DAZN.
“We must continue to learn from these situations, from these moments of tension and doubt that we have from time to time and we must continue to improve,” added Sainz.
The good news for Ferrari, however, is that a major upgrade to the car – complete with a new rear suspension to deal with severe tire wear – is now coming ahead of the Spanish GP.
Sixth-placed Charles Leclerc said overuse was also a factor in Monaco.
“I thought here in Monaco a critical problem would not arise,” he told Sky Italia, “also because I was managing the unions.
“But at one point I was in big trouble and all I could do was pit.”
The team intended to debut the upgraded package at the canceled Imola race and – unlike Mercedes – decided that Monaco was not suitable for introduction.
And so team principal Frederic Vasseur forgave Sainz for his mistakes in Monaco – including running into the rear of eventual podium winner Esteban Ocon.
“Nobody expected such bad weather conditions. We can’t blame him,” Vasseur said.
“There have been other incidents like (George) Russell – he dropped out too. So it’s gone now, but let’s focus on Barcelona.
“We’re back to the traditional track. Already in qualifying here we had good speed on Saturday and we should be good in Spain as well.
“We are also making updates to the car and we hope that these will bring us performance benefits,” added the Frenchman. We’ll see what we can do”.
Vasseur also explained that his dry humor remains in check when asked how he celebrated his 55th birthday on Sunday.
“Someone brought me a piece of Sainz’s wing as a gift,” he laughed.