Aim to Limit the Damage
George Russell in second place, Lewis Hamilton in third. Mercedes will be Max Verstappen’s primary challenger in the Qatar Grand Prix, as he aims to celebrate his title win with a victory from pole position. Scuderia Ferrari has Charles Leclerc in the third row and Carlos Sainz in the sixth.
The goal for the Scuderia is to limit the damage in the Constructors’ Championship as Mercedes threatens to pull away again after the past two successful weekends for Frederic Vasseur’s team. They will also need to contain the McLaren comeback, as yesterday they proved to be the real anti-Red Bull challengers. However, today they will start from the back due to the qualifying errors by Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris. Ferrari’s team principal, Frederic Vasseur, admitted that yesterday the Scuderia was “saved” by the Safety Cars, as the decision to start with soft tires didn’t pay off.
Frederic Vasseur’s words:
“First of all, congratulations to Max Verstappen and Red Bull for the Drivers’ Championship. Regarding our race, clearly the decision to start with soft tires didn’t turn out well. Several Safety Car phases helped us; otherwise, it would have been even worse. In fact, the race was about damage limitation. We’ve scored some points, and now we’re focusing on the Grand Prix, where significant points are at stake, and we aim to perform better. For all the teams, the 19 laps of the Sprint were valuable because they provided important data for analyzing tire behavior. We’ll try to make the most of it.”