Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports and technical director Ross Brawn says Sunday’s British Grand Prix confirmed that tyre wear is Scuderia Ferrari’s “Achilles’ heel”, a weakness Maranello’s engineers urgently need to solve.
The Scuderia’s pace in qualifying put the Italian outfit in contention for a spot on the front row at Silverstone, but race day highlighted once again the Italian side’s main deficiency.
“When it comes to performance on a flying lap in qualifying, Charles Leclerc was amazing, given that he only lost out on pole in the final sector of a track that didn’t suit the characteristics of the SF90, especially in the cold conditions,” Brawn commented in his British Grand Prix debrief – “However, in the race, Ferrari were third best, a long way off Mercedes and behind the Red Bulls. Tyre wear especially seems to be the team’s Achilles’ Heel. That could be seen on Friday and although the team managed to partially fix it over the weekend, it was not enough to put them in the fight for the win. Back in Maranello, they need to understand why this is, and they must react quickly if they want to keep alive their hopes of fighting for the championship.”
Continuing his assessment of Scuderia Ferrari, Ross Brawn noted the very different fortunes enjoyed by its drivers at Silverstone, the F1 chief emphasizing Sebastian Vettel’s persistent under-performance: “The two drivers had very different Sunday afternoons,” added the Brit. “Leclerc scored his fifth podium finish of the season, his fourth in a row. He was obviously delighted after a race that highlighted not only his talent and clean driving style, but also his bravery in those thrilling duels, both in defence and on the attack. Vettel, on other hand, could not muster a smile. Since Canada, Sebastian seems to have been struggling more and more, and at Silverstone those woes deepened further. Unlike Leclerc, he never felt comfortable in the car, as can be seen from the gaps in qualifying and then, in the race, he didn’t make the most of the Safety Car opportunity, after it had seen him move up to third. Then came the mistake when he slammed into the back of Verstappen’s car. He realised immediately that he’d erred and after the race quickly sought Max out to apologise.”
Ross Brawn believes the pressure is ramping on Sebastian Vettel in an unfamiliar way for the German: “It’s a difficult moment for Sebastian, as he probably feels under a different kind of pressure than he’s used to, and he must be asking himself what direction he should now go in, given th at again this year, his chance of putting Ferrari back on top is slipping away,” Brawn said – “Sebastian is an incredible driver, as his record shows, but at the moment, he needs to keep calm and to rely on support from his team, which I’m sure he is getting. I reckon there is no other team like Ferrari when it comes to surrounding their drivers with affection and positive energy.” – the former Scuderia Ferrari technical director concluded.
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