Sainz: Ferrari's struggles at wet Spa "not normal"

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz says the Maranello team's failure to get either of its car into Q3 in the Belgian Grand Prix was "not normal".

Sainz: Ferrari's struggles at wet Spa "not normal"

Sainz finished the wet Q2 session in 13th place, two places behind teammate Charles Leclerc, although both men will gain positions on the final grid due to penalties for Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris.

Both drivers reported that they had struggled for grip, and they had no explanation for why that had been such an issue.

Sainz was particularly frustrated as he had expected to gain from wet conditions.

"Very disappointed because it's normally a condition that I was particularly looking forward to," said Sainz.

"Particularly around this circuit, I know the lines and the feeling of the car in the wet, I'm normally very strong.

"But for some reason, the grip wasn't there today. We struggled to get the front temperatures up, we were struggling to get any kind of feeling under braking, and it was very difficult to get the car stopped.

"Very strange, because in Imola I was very quick, and the feeling with the car at Imola was completely different to here. So something to look into, because it's not normal I think."

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Leclerc agreed that the lack of grip when it mattered in qualifying came as a surprise.

"We were just lacking pace overall," he said. "Whether we know the reason, not yet obviously. I felt like we were bit more competitive than a P11 today.

"We definitely weren't in the fight for a top five start. But in between five and 10, that was our place today.

"But it's part of it, in those type of conditions, you also need to be out at the right time, and maybe today, because we saw some rain coming for the end of Q2, we went a little bit early. It was I think the right choice, but at the end, it's like this.

"It's very difficult to judge in those conditions. It's always very easy to say it after the session, what was the better option, but it's life. Today we did P11 and P13."

Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekies said that the team had expected Spa to be a tough weekend in dry conditions, and that rain would provide an opportunity to do better.

"We came to Spa knowing that it will be a bit more difficult than normal, just because of the track characteristics," said the Frenchman. "It proved to be more difficult than what we thought, especially on the wet.

"We were expecting to recover some of the deficit of performance, this didn't happen, if anything it went into the other direction. So that's a disappointment. We have had good samples of performance in the wet earlier this year, in Imola for example.

"So for us it's important that we that we get to the bottom of it for the future. So as a result you are lacking those raw lap times then of course you fight a bit more with everything, the conditions, with risk taking, both on the driver side and the team side."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Norris takes five-place grid penalty at Spa after gearbox change

Previous article

Norris takes five-place grid penalty at Spa after gearbox change

Next article

Williams explains "risky but clever" Spa qualifying strategy

Williams explains "risky but clever" Spa qualifying strategy
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Prime

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship.

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021