Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur was encouraged by the team’s performance at the Belgian Grand Prix, where the field was put to the test in various conditions across the Sprint weekend.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc captured nine points during the Saturday Sprint race, and Leclerc secured his third podium of the season with a third place finish from pole. It was an unfortunate end to the weekend for Sainz, however, retiring due to damage stemming from a collision with Oscar Piastri at turn one of the opening lap.
Vasseur said that they delayed retiring Sainz until lap twenty-three in hopes that a red flag may come up due to the mid-race rain, allowing the team time to repair the car. As this possibility faded, the decision was made to bring him in.
“We are happy with Charles’ podium, it was well deserved and it’s a nice way to head into the summer break. Apart from that, I’d say the weekend in Belgium had several other positives. The pace was good all weekend, on rain tyres and slicks, both the Medium and Soft.
“We made the right strategy calls and all the pit stops went well. Overall therefore, I think we have made a step forward and we must start off from this point when we are back on track, because only with this attitude can we aim to beat our closest rivals.
“It’s a shame for Carlos because he too could have got a good result given that his pace was similar to Charles’ all weekend. The first corner here is often tricky and racing incidents after the start are always a possibility and that’s what happened.
“We opted to keep him out on track until the rain shower in the hope there might be a red flag which would have given us the chance to fix the car, but then it became clear that wouldn’t happen so we decided to retire him.”
Having seen some tough weekends and difficult results since the season opener, Vasseur said that Belgium made it clear that the team is going in the right direction. Looking ahead to the second half of the season, he hopes to see the team as determined after the shut-down as they have been in Spa.
“This first half of the season has seen many highs and lows, but today it was clear we have reacted well after recent races that had not gone the way we wanted. The team all deserve the break, having worked so hard at the track and back in Maranello over the past months and when we come back, I want to see that same sense of determination.”