Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc admitted that the Maranello team has not yet solved the tyre issues which caused the poor performance in France a few weeks ago, despite the fact that Ferrari almost won the British Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc losing first place to Lewis Hamilton just two laps before the end of the race at Silverstone.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had the worst weekend of the 2021 Formula 1 season at the Paul Ricard circuit, with both Scuderia Ferrari drivers finishing outside the points due to a serious drop-off in tyre performance. The Italian side was concerned they might encounter a repeat at Silverstone, another track that puts severe strain on the front tyres.
Fortunately, in Silverstone we did not see a repeat of the events which took place in France: Charles, who started from P4 after Sprint Qualifying on Saturday, was able to capitalize on the incident between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen to take the lead from the start of the race.
The Monegasque diver confirmed that the SF21’s pace in the opening stint on medium tyres was “surprisingly good”, as Charles had the pace to stay ahead of Lewis Hamilton despite an intermittent engine problem: “The car felt incredible there and we were very, very quick.”
Yet the Mercedes caught him quickly once they switched to harder tyres in the second part of the race: “On the hard, it’s not like something felt especially weak.It felt quite good but whenever I started to hit the traffic, I could feel we were on a bit more fragile tyre and we seemed to suffer a bit more, by being [near] those guys, even though it was so quite far, I could feel the rear of the car was not as stable as I wanted it to be. This made us lose a little bit the pace that we had before. But overall, even when everything felt good, Lewis was just much quicker than us on those hard tyres.” – Charles admitted.
Scuderia Ferrari’s efforts to understand what went wrong in the French Grand Prix will continue despite their successful race yesterday, the Monegasque driver added:
“There’s been a big investigation after France to try to understand exactly why we were struggling that much with those front tyres. I don’t think we get that answer yet. So yes, we were much better here but I don’t think it is because we found the complete answer of what happened in France. So, the investigation is still going on and we are still working hard on it. And even though we’ve had a good day today we don’t forget about the bad day in France and once we understand the full extent of why we were slow in France. Then I’m pretty sure we will do a big step as a team and it will help us to reproduce this type of performance as we did today.” – Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc concluded.