Corner speed continues to be “more than an Achilles heel” for Ferrari says Sebastian Vettel after the four-time champion qualified third for the F1 Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday in Barcelona.
It’s been the story since the season opener in Australia. Ferrari has the fastest car in a straight line, but Mercedes has the stronger chassis and package and are therefore stronger in the corners. This weakness in the Ferrari was evident in qualifying with Vettel almost a second slower in the tight final sector than pole sitter Valtteri Bottas.
“It seems to be more than an Achilles heel at the moment,” said Vettel. “I just spoke to Valtteri and they were both very happy with the car. Especially the last sector for us is a bit more tricky. I think we got everything out of the car in the first run. In the second run I had to try something different and it didn’t really work. I’m happy but not happy if you know what I mean.”
For Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc, an individual error caused some bodywork damage. Running wide onto the curbs, Leclerc shook off some of the aerodynamic aids and, as a result, he will start Sunday’s Grand Prix from fifth.
“I’m not very happy but on the other hand, in Q2 I don’t really understand how I could lose that much of the car on the curb,” said Charles Leclerc. “I did not expect it. I got a little bit of understeer but I kept it flat thinking it would be fine but unfortunately we broke quite a lot and had to stop again.
“It’s still unclear to me in Q3, the balance was very strange so we need to check to see if the car is fine but anyway, we were slower than the Mercedes today and that’s it.”