Sainz: Ferrari's struggles at wet Spa "not normal"

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz says the Maranello team's failure to get either of its car into Q3 in the Belgian Grand Prix was "not normal".

Sainz: Ferrari's struggles at wet Spa "not normal"

Sainz finished the wet Q2 session in 13th place, two places behind teammate Charles Leclerc, although both men will gain positions on the final grid due to penalties for Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris.

Both drivers reported that they had struggled for grip, and they had no explanation for why that had been such an issue.

Sainz was particularly frustrated as he had expected to gain from wet conditions.

"Very disappointed because it's normally a condition that I was particularly looking forward to," said Sainz.

"Particularly around this circuit, I know the lines and the feeling of the car in the wet, I'm normally very strong.

"But for some reason, the grip wasn't there today. We struggled to get the front temperatures up, we were struggling to get any kind of feeling under braking, and it was very difficult to get the car stopped.

"Very strange, because in Imola I was very quick, and the feeling with the car at Imola was completely different to here. So something to look into, because it's not normal I think."

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Leclerc agreed that the lack of grip when it mattered in qualifying came as a surprise.

"We were just lacking pace overall," he said. "Whether we know the reason, not yet obviously. I felt like we were bit more competitive than a P11 today.

"We definitely weren't in the fight for a top five start. But in between five and 10, that was our place today.

"But it's part of it, in those type of conditions, you also need to be out at the right time, and maybe today, because we saw some rain coming for the end of Q2, we went a little bit early. It was I think the right choice, but at the end, it's like this.

"It's very difficult to judge in those conditions. It's always very easy to say it after the session, what was the better option, but it's life. Today we did P11 and P13."

Ferrari racing director Laurent Mekies said that the team had expected Spa to be a tough weekend in dry conditions, and that rain would provide an opportunity to do better.

"We came to Spa knowing that it will be a bit more difficult than normal, just because of the track characteristics," said the Frenchman. "It proved to be more difficult than what we thought, especially on the wet.

"We were expecting to recover some of the deficit of performance, this didn't happen, if anything it went into the other direction. So that's a disappointment. We have had good samples of performance in the wet earlier this year, in Imola for example.

"So for us it's important that we that we get to the bottom of it for the future. So as a result you are lacking those raw lap times then of course you fight a bit more with everything, the conditions, with risk taking, both on the driver side and the team side."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Norris takes five-place grid penalty at Spa after gearbox change

Previous article

Norris takes five-place grid penalty at Spa after gearbox change

Next article

Williams explains "risky but clever" Spa qualifying strategy

Williams explains "risky but clever" Spa qualifying strategy
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Prime

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Prime

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1's elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he's recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Italian Grand Prix driver ratings

Two drivers produced faultless performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left many to rue what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Prime

Why Ricciardo would have won without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Prime

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of "glory" if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1's other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams Prime

How Formula 1 has made itself unattractive to new teams

OPINION: The Formula 1 cost cap has been billed as a saviour to several teams and helped to guarantee their viability for investors. But there already exists another mechanism that effectively had the same purpose, and serves as a strong deterrent for those with the means to go it alone in setting up a new team

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021
How Schumacher's first year marked him out as F1's king in-waiting Prime

How Schumacher's first year marked him out as F1's king in-waiting

After his sparkling F1 debut with Jordan at Spa, Michael Schumacher quickly leapt to Benetton for the 1991 Italian Grand Prix. This move paved the way for the German to win his first grand prix one year later and laid the foundations for his ascent to become a title contender by 1994.

Formula 1
Sep 10, 2021