After the Canadian Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Fred Vasseur claims the team is “going in the right direction.” From positions 10 and 11 on the grid, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz advanced to fourth and fifth place in their respective races by using a different strategy than their competitors. “The car felt better than in the first part of the season, so it’s positive,” Leclerc said.
“But fourth is not where we want to be. We want to be fighting for first position again.”
Leclerc said he was “very happy” with the “very happy” with the car’s performance in Montreal, but he and Fred Vasseur cautioned against drawing too many conclusions because of the unique nature of the layout of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Its combination of mainly slow-speed corners and a low-abrasion surface meant it allowed Ferrari to exploit the car’s strengths while not exposing its weaknesses in higher-speed bends with excessive tyre usage.
Ferrari have suffered with major inconsistency and unpredictability in their car’s handling, which has caused both drivers to have crashes this season, and are trying to address the behaviour with design changes. Leclerc and Vasseur said they would wait at least until the next race weekend in Austria from 30 June to 2 July before believing Ferrari had genuinely turned a corner.
Leclerc said: “It felt good, but this track is very particular so I would wait for Austria to hopefully confirm what we felt this weekend.” Vasseur pointed out that once slower cars were out of their way after Ferrari decided not to pit under an early safety car, Leclerc was able to match the pace of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, which finished second.
“The last stint we did with the same tyres as Alonso for almost the same number of laps and it was plus or minus one second (difference between the cars) after 30 laps,” Vasseur said.
“You can always say (race winner Max) Verstappen was not flat out, but I don’t think that his personality is like this. Compared to two or three races ago, we finished 10 seconds behind and it was almost the (same) gap (as) at the end of lap one.” Sainz said he believed Ferrari’s competitiveness would continue to fluctuate.