Ross Brawn, the Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports and technical director, feels that Scuderia Ferrari’s problems are deepening following a frustrating Monaco Grand Prix which saw team mistakes and Charles Leclerc’s “impetuousness” costing a stronger result. The former Ferrari boss has reflected on the weekend’s race and weighed up the problems which hit his former team triggered by the Italian side’s misjudgement of the Q1 cut off time which saw Charles Leclerc drop out of qualifying in 16th place.
Ross Brawn, who gave credit to Charles Leclerc for his early charge up the order at the start of the race, feels his overly-aggressive driving cost him a strong recovery drive as he hit the inside barrier at La Rascasse trying to overtake Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and picked up a puncture. In his eagerness to return to the pits carrying his puncture, the tyre debris wrecked the floor of his Ferrari which effectively caused his retirement from the race a handful of laps later.
“Leclerc for a handful of laps, he was truly spectacular. Then Charles went too far and paid a high price for his impetuousness,” Brawn said. “His reaction was understandable, however. It’s his home race and his first attempt at it with a front-running team. It was supposed to be a special moment but it ended only in disappointment. After some problems on Thursday, Saturday morning’s final practice session offered a ray of light when he topped the timesheet. But then came the slap in the face of that Q1 strategic error – which Mattia Binotto fully admitted was a team miscalculation – and he dropped all the way down to 16th, a starting position that led to him overdoing it on Sunday.” – he explained.
Ross Brawn also believes that Ferrari were the third-fastest team in Monaco behind both Mercedes and Red Bull despite Sebastian Vettel securing the team’s best result of the season in second place – duly ending the consecutive run of 1-2 finishes for Mercedes.
“It was a difficult weekend for Ferrari, although it ended with their best result of the year,” he said. “However, Sebastian Vettel’s second place came at the end of a race in which he didn’t play a key role, sitting behind Verstappen throughout but unable to really worry the Dutchman. It reflected a weekend during which the Scuderia was the third strongest team. That was predictable given what we saw in Barcelona, where the car struggled, especially in the third sector of that track. The season seems to be getting away from the Maranello team, but it’s not the time to give up and it must learn from its mistakes if it wants to move forward.” – he concluded.
Such has been the domination of Mercedes at the start of 2019, Lewis Hamilton’s total points tally (137) is just two fewer than Ferrari’s points from Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc combined (139).