This was not the easiest of Sundays for Scuderia Ferrari, which comes away from the United States with a fifth place for Carlos Sainz and a seventh for Charles Leclerc at the end of a Miami Grand Prix in which the limitations of the SF-23 in race trim were evident, after both drivers had been in the fight for pole position yesterday.
The race. Carlos got away well to keep third place, but he soon had to give best to Max Verstappen who was charging up the order. After switching from the Medium to the Hard tyres, Carlos found his SF-23 hard to drive, which meant his pace was inconsistent and in the final third of the race, he also lost out to George Russell and finished fifth. Charles’ race followed a similar pattern. After starting from seventh, he switched from Medium to Hard tyres one lap before his team-mate, which dropped him out of the top ten. He had the same problems with pace but eventually fought his way back to finish where he started.
On to Imola. Between tonight and tomorrow, the team will head back to Maranello to immediately start preparing for the Made in Italy e dell’Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, which takes place on 21 May, when further updates are planned for the SF-23. The determination of the team and drivers to do well goes without saying, especially as the Italian fans will be out in force with their support in Imola.
‘It was a tough race for us. My first stint on the Medium was good, but we tried to undercut Fernando early and I had to push the Hards too much immediately after coming out of the pits in order to get through the traffic. I think we paid the price for that a bit, but in general we clearly struggle with race pace. It’s frustrating, but we’ll keep working on a solution and I’m confident that we can progress as a team for the next races.’
‘I struggled with the car bottoming at high speed, which I hadn’t experienced so far this weekend. I had to just focus on bringing the car home, so overall it was not a great race. We have to work on understanding why we are so competitive in qualifying and off the pace in the race. We will keep pushing and hopefully, with the upgrades we have coming, we can make a step forward.’
Frédéric Vasseur Team Principal
‘Once again today, the significant difference between the SF-23’s performance level in qualifying and the race was clear to see. Both Carlos and Charles found the car hard to drive and that is reflected in the result. Carlos was competitive in the first stint but then struggled quite a lot to run at a consistent pace after switching to the Hards, while Charles found it difficult on the Medium in the opening laps and only got into a good rhythm in the final stages.
‘Therefore, finding some consistency in the car’s performance has to be our number one priority, especially in terms of tyre management, so that the confidence the drivers have in qualifying can be replicated in the race.
‘We will now be continuing to work flat out in Maranello on developing updates as well as on optimising the car package, with the aim of already getting more out of it at the next race in front of our tifosi in Imola.’