Scuderia Ferrari had one of their most difficult qualifying sessions of the season so far, with Charles Leclerc being the only Ferrari driver to make the top ten, Carlos Sainz Jr could only make twelfth.
The Styrian Grand Prix hasn’t gone according to plan for the Scuderia, the team have struggled with one lap pace, something which is usually their strength compared to their competitors.
Nevertheless Leclerc did an incredible job to make it into final qualifying and put his prancing horse in seventh place for Sunday’s race, giving him every opportunity of hauling some good points. Sainz will have to work extra hard on Sunday to recover from twelfth but Ferrari Racing Director Laurent Mekies is confident that their race pace is just as strong as their midfield rivals.
“As expected, this was a difficult session. Compared with what we have seen so far on Saturday afternoons, we were unable to reproduce our usual performance level over a single flying lap. We tackled this Grand Prix with a slightly different approach to usual, working mainly towards the race after the problems we encountered last week in France.
“That’s not a mitigating factor, because I don’t think we could have done much better than this, looking at the performance of our main rivals, but it is something to bear in mind when looking at today’s results. From what we saw yesterday, our long run pace is not bad compared to our closest competitors and we will try and exploit that tomorrow afternoon.
‘Every day of this season is an opportunity to improve and to help make the team strong and today was no exception, an additional experience to make the most of, for the short and the long term.“