Ferrari trio – Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and Frederic Vasseur – reflect on another coming together of their drivers in F1 Spanish GP.

Apart from the pace deficit that Ferrari faced in F1 Spanish GP, team boss Vasseur has another headache to handle after the run-in between teammates Leclerc and Sainz. The team fell slightly behind Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes in the order.

They qualified behind both the Mercedes and one Red Bull and McLaren and it stayed like that in the grand prix as well. Leclerc started ahead of Sainz and they seemingly had the plan to save tyres in the first stint, but the Spaniard perhaps had other plans.

While Vasseur did not readily agreed with Leclerc’s saying about their strategy, but the Frenchman noted how strategies in Barcelona play out. The Monegasque was surprised by Sainz’s Turn 1 attack at a time when he did not expect it.

They did touch, but the stewards let it go as racing incident. There was minor damage but not huge enough to ruin their races. Although, Leclerc felt if that had not happened, there would have been a better chance to catch Mercedes’ George Russell for fourth.

Leclerc termed Sainz’s attempts as a ‘spectacular’ showing for his home crowd and for his F1 future, while the Spaniard noted about the Monegasque complaining too much while explaining that he was attacking the Mercedes up ahead whom he nearly passed.

In fact, Sainz and Lewis Hamilton reflected on their run-in where the Spaniard felt he was forced off at Turn 1 and the FIA stewards did not apply the rules. Vasseur played down the Ferrari drivers shenanigans as ‘things that can happen’ between two racers.

Tangle –

Leclerc: “I mean, we had a clear strategy at the beginning of the race with both to save tyres to attack later on. Carlos didn’t do any saving in Turn 14 and of course had an opportunity to overtake me in Turn 1, which is a bit of a shame because we lost time between us. I damaged my front wing because of Carlos making the turn and not seeing I was inside and that made our race more difficult. I didn’t understand the point of doing that when it was clearly stated before the race that we had to save in this part of the race. It’s a bit unnecessary, but I also understand that it’s his home race and it’s also an important moment of his career, so I guess he wanted to do something a bit spectacular. But I probably wasn’t the right person to do that with.”

Sainz: “It’s too many times he complains after the race about something. I was on the attack. We were on a new soft, Mercedes was on a used soft. We had to go on the attack on the first laps when you have a new tyre and pass them. Like we said even before the race. I passed Charles because…I don’t know if he did a mistake or was just managing a bit too much. Then I went on and nearly passed Lewis, and I undercut Lewis, nearly passed Russell at pitstops.”

Vasseur: “First, out of the car, they have a very good relationship and they have good mutual trust. Now they are racer, for sure you can have this kind of case, but I know also perfectly from the simulation, we are getting a lot. Last year if we recover, it is also because you had the simulation between them and this competition all over the season. Sometimes it happens, it happened today but it is not that damage on the car was missing and it is part of the game.”

Missed result –

Leclerc: “Unfortunately we came just one lap short of P4 which was a bit of a shame, but that’s the best we could do today. I think the strategy we did well to offset ourselves a bit with the people around. A shame we lost a bit of time between the cars at the beginning, but it’s like this. I was managing the tyres well in the first stint – that’s what it was for, to try and go longer after that – and, I did that perfectly. So there wasn’t much more we could have done on that.”

Sainz: “There was no way to fight for that podium, but clearly the call of stopping early and going to the undercut route and anyway a medium-hard today didn’t pay off. These tyres were just too slow today, and everyone else that went on the soft, medium, soft, were clearly faster. It just didn’t pay off. In the race I think I mirrored a bit what Russell did and I was a tenth or two slower. Charles mirrored what Hamilton did and was one or two tenths slower. And then obviously, Red Bull and McLaren are clear step ahead. So yeah, not our best weekend.”

Vasseur: “I think you can find 10 example of 10 circumstances of the race where we missed half a tenth…half a second, sorry. After Carlos let him go very easy later on, we missed couple of tenths for 2 or 3 laps, let us discuss….not to draw any conclusion after the first comment of the driver out of the car.”

Strategy to save tyres –

Vasseur: “We don’t speak like this about the strategy of the race but we knew before that…if you have a look at all the races in Barcelona for 25 years now, the first stint is a bit boring, it is more to take position on track and then when you start the pitstop to have still potential in the tyre to push, it was not the approach but not that ‘don’t push Turn 1, don’t push Turn 2’.”

Hamilton tangle –

Sainz: “I felt like he ran me off the track, and I was half a car length ahead. Normally, the rule this year says that if you’re ahead around the outside, they need to give you space. That’s normally what the stewards have ruled this year. So I was trying to benefit from that rule because that’s how they’ve ruled up until now. I’m not saying he was racing hard or not hard – just trying to apply the rule that the stewards have applied all season.”

Hamilton: “I mean, look, it’s never a a good feeling when you do get overtaken. And I think we had a nice tight battle into turn one. I left him some room, so I think he was still on the track. Ultimately, he left the door open on the inside, didn’t fully close it. And so I went for the inside and tried to make the corner. I think he came around. I think we touched wheels equally and nothing major. It was like a small scrub. Gave him some room on the exit and yeah.”

Here’s Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton:

Here’s how F1 Spanish GP panned out

Here’s link to a F1 Discord channel, join in to interact