Ferrari reckons Fernando Alonso would have been more vocal about rejoining in F1 Qatar GP, as they admit of shortcoming against Mercedes.

After Carlos Sainz was ruled out of F1 Qatar GP due to fuel leak whose investigation is happening at Maranello, Ferrari salvaged fifth place courtesy Charles Leclerc. But it wasn’t an easy run for them since they lost to Mercedes and McLaren.

While the latter were more than 30s down the road, the larger disappointing point was the recovery drive from George Russell who went from last on Lap 1 to fourth, finishing ahead of Leclerc in the process even though the Monegasque was catching him towards the end.

In the process of finishing fifth, there was some help for Leclerc from Aston Martin’s Alonso having an off moment which allowed the Monegasque to pass him. The FIA handed him a reprimand considering the magnitude of the situation.

But Ferrari chief Vasseur reckons Alonso would have been much hard on the radio if the roles were reversed. “If it was in the opposite I think that Fernando would have been more than vocal on the radio, that his life was ‘really on the edge’ and so and so,” said Vasseur to media. “I think it was far too much coming from nowhere and crossing the track at 90 degrees.

“But it is not my decision to make,” summed up the Ferrari chief as Leclerc was a little less critical which somewhat saved him from a larger penalty. “It was on the limit, yes,” he said. “But on the other hand, he was so far off that I don’t think he saw me at any point. Then coming back, it’s not the best way to rejoin the track, but at the same time I don’t think he was aware that I was there.”

But Leclerc was more disappointed and surprised by Mercedes pace where Russell came back to beat him. “We didn’t start the day in the best way possible with Carlos’ issue, which was a shame,” he said. “In this way, it made us take a bit more margin on my side driving-wise, just to be on the safe side.

“But I don’t think there was more we could have extracted for the race. We were not surprised with McLaren’s pace, even though they were super quick, we expected on Friday that they would be very strong. On the other hand, we’re quite surprised with Mercedes’ pace. For them to finish in front of us with crashing on Lap 1 is surprising.”

While Leclerc was surprised, Vasseur more focussed on what Ferrari lacked in the grand prix. “Surprised? I don’t know because I don’t pay attention to others, I focus on what we have to do and we didn’t do a very consistent race I think,” he said. “We had graining on the second stint and we lost to traffic and we lost at this stage of the event. For sure, you can always do a better job but lets focus on the next one.”

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