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Saturday, April 20, 2024

F1 outcomes: Ferrari’s brutal Australian Grand Prix

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Forward of the Australian Grand Prix, the temper round Ferrari was moderately optimistic, regardless of the troublesome begin to their 2023 Method 1 season. Previous to qualifying, reserve driver Robert Shwartzman was a part of the protection on F1TV, and he described the sensation across the crew as “superb.”

That’s definitely not the case following the Grand Prix itself.

Charles Leclerc was knocked out of the race on the opening lap, after getting caught in a collision with Lance Stroll that despatched Leclerc’s SF-23 into the gravel and out of the race.

Then it appeared like Carlos Sainz Jr. was going to fall sufferer to a little bit of unhealthy luck. With Sainz operating inside the highest 5, Ferrari made the choice to carry him into the pits when a digital security automotive got here out following Alex Albon crashing into the barrier and out of the Grand Prix. The considering was that Sainz might change to the onerous compound and go the gap with out one other cease.

Ferrari was not alone in making that call. Mercedes introduced in race chief George Russell, who made the identical change to the hards.

Sadly, the timing went from good, to flawed, by way of no fault of both crew. Race officers then introduced out the crimson flag, citing gravel on the observe, and each different crew received to make the identical change below crimson flag situations. Russell was now in seventh, and the Ferrari driver was outdoors the highest ten.

Each Sainz, and Russell, had given up good observe place and obtained no benefit.

Nevertheless, whereas Russell would quickly retire after a failure, Sainz managed to cost his approach by way of the sector. That included this unbelievable overtake of Pierre Gasly, with Sainz hitting the Alpine driver with an ideal dummy transfer:

When the race was stopped for one more crimson flag with just some laps remaining, the Ferrari driver was fourth, and in place to push for a podium.

Maybe he pushed a bit too onerous.

Sainz collided with Fernando Alonso simply after the restart, sending the Aston Martin driver into the gravel. That touched off a sequence response of occasions that may see Gasly and Esteban Ocon collide, knocking each Alpines out of the Grand Prix:

The crimson flag got here out but once more and everybody from the groups, the followers in Melbourne, and bleary-eyed sports activities writers in america, puzzled how race officers would deal with the end. Would there be one other standing begin? Would the race end below a yellow flag?

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Finally, race officers set the order for the restart, which might happen below a security automotive.

Additionally they handed down a five-second penalty to Sainz, dropping him out of the factors.

As you may count on, it was a bitter blow for the Ferrari driver:

Max Verstappen took the checkered flag, and Ferrari took residence nothing to point out for his or her efforts. Worse nonetheless, the crew now sit in fourth place within the Constructors’ standings, effectively behind Crimson Bull, and 30 factors behind Mercedes, who sit in third place:

Nonetheless, the crew did their finest to place a optimistic spin on the weekend.

“It was unlucky to finish the race this manner at this time, however it was a racing incident and I don’t assume that we might have accomplished something in another way,” mentioned Leclerc after the Grand Prix. “Disappointing, however on to the subsequent one the place I hope issues will run extra easily once more.”

“I had a superb begin and felt assured on the medium tyre however we have been unfortunate, pitting simply earlier than they introduced out the primary crimson flag and I dropped all the way down to P11. From there I managed to tug off a superb comeback with good overtakes and stable tempo, so for that I’m blissful,” mentioned Sainz.

“It was a superb race general however the penalty ruined all the trouble and I don’t agree with it,” he added. “The frustration I really feel proper now will likely be troublesome to digest, however I’ll attempt to assume solely of the positives from at this time and concentrate on the subsequent race.”

New Staff Principal Frédéric Vasseur, who took over from Mattia Binotto this previous winter, talked concerning the “progress” the crew has made by way of three races.

“At present’s outcome, not scoring factors, doesn’t mirror the progress we have now made as a crew. We’ve got taken a step ahead by way of pure efficiency and much more importantly, we had a good and constant race tempo on the assorted tyre compounds, together with the onerous. Solely yesterday’s qualifying didn’t match our potential.”

“Our preliminary response is certainly one of frustration, with Charles clearly unfortunate to be concerned in a racing incident at the beginning. It was a superb name to carry Carlos in below the primary Security Automobile, however following the crimson flag, he needed to begin once more from P11, from which he recovered very effectively,” added Vasseur. “The penalty had a devastating impact on the ultimate outcome for him however regardless of this, we return to Maranello realizing that we’re transferring in the best course and we now have three weeks to maintain engaged on optimising and updating the SF-23 for the approaching races.”

Ferrari now has an prolonged break to work on the SF-23, earlier than making an attempt to proper the ship at Baku on the finish of the month.

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