Sebastian Vettel hopes the problems that affected Scuderia Ferrari at Spa-Francorchamps are not repeated again in 2020 after the German finished well outside the points in thirteenth on Sunday.
Ferrari were not top ten contenders at any point during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend and Vettel did not run inside the points-paying positions on any of the forty-four-lap race. He struggled for straight-line speed, which left him unable to keep tabs with those ahead and left him vulnerable from behind at the same time.
Vettel felt Spa-Francorchamps exposed the weaknesses of the SF1000 and heading into two consecutive weekends racing in Italy, he hopes Belgium was the low point of the season.
“It was not an easy race,” said Vettel. “We finished in the same place in which we started. We tried everything with both cars, but we were just too slow. I hope the situation on this circuit doesn’t repeat itself. I think this track maybe exposed our weaknesses a bit more than others.
“I believe we can do a bit better next week. We must work to make sure that we take everything we can from this weekend, learn all there is to learn and go forward.”
“We knew that we couldn’t make any miracles happen” – Charles Leclerc
Team-mate Charles Leclerc endured an equally tough day, and although his start propelled him into eighth, he was unable to stay there and was ultimately fourteenth at the chequered flag.
He was the leading runner to make a second pit stop in the race but that did not do enough for him to be a points contender, and he foresees another tough weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza this weekend.
“It has been a very difficult day,” said Leclerc. “I had a very good start and managed to make up several positions thanks to a good tow up to turn 5, but after that things started to get worse. First of all, we lost time during both pit stops due to some issues.
“During the second stint, we knew that we couldn’t make any miracles happen so, seeing the position we were in, with a train of cars ahead and no possibility to overtake, we decided to try something different and go for a second stop. It’s a shame that it didn’t work out, but ultimately, today we just didn’t have the pace we needed.
“The next race will be a difficult one for us, but hopefully from Mugello, it could get better. We have to stay united, react and work hard to come back to where we were before.”
“We are disappointed and angry” – Mattia Binotto
Mattia Binotto, the Team Principal at Ferrari, said the team were lacking in both straight-line speed and aerodynamic efficiency at Spa-Francorchamps, which made fighting for points near impossible for both Vettel and Leclerc.
Binotto says there is both disappointment and anger within the Ferrari camp after such a tough weekend, and a lot of work will be done to prevent it happening again in the future.
“On a track that requires aerodynamic efficiency and power, we were severely lacking in both,” said Binotto. “Charles and Sebastian did their very best, both yesterday in qualifying and today in the race, but we couldn’t even get into the points.
“We are disappointed and angry, as indeed are our fans and with good reason. It’s a difficult moment in a season that we knew from the start would be a tough one, but it’s at times like this that we need to stand firm and look ahead in order to get over this difficult period. It’s the only way we will get out of this situation.”