The outcome of the Austrian Grand Prix gave to the Ferrari the fourth victory of the season, in a weekend at the Red Bull Ring that seemed to provide the opposite forecasts to those that instead materialized at the end of Sunday’s race. Not surprisingly, on the occasion of the second Sprint of this year, the Reds had to struggle to keep up with the pace of Max Verstappen, poleman and race winner, only to triumph the following day with Charles Leclercdespite the regret for the retirement of Carlos Sainz.
What, then, generated that leap forward that allowed the Prancing Horse to get on the top step of the podium? He provided an explanation Jock ClearFerrari’s senior performance engineer interviewed by F1 Nation at the end of the eleventh round of the world championship: “I think on Saturday we had the feeling that we were more competitive than it seemed – said the 58-year-old Briton – we had good pace, but we weren’t able to close the gap in those 23 laps because tire degradation wasn’t a problem. Let’s not forget that we start with a much lower fuel level, so the stresses are less. Sunday starts with the full tank and the advantage we had in tire management it was evident from the early stages of the race. This didn’t happen on Saturday and I think it made a difference ”.
However, there was no shortage of tensions in the final laps of the race due to the problem suffered by Leclerc, who had to manage damage to theacceleratorremained open and locked up to the checkered flag: “With what we have had in the last four races, you just think about what can happen next – he added – at first it seemed to be a minor problem, but then two possibilities opened up: either he could get her home, or he would have to give up completely. Luckily she made it, but we lived the situation on a tightrope. She couldn’t brake the way she wanted, so she braked early and gave herself some leeway. But of course, when you have Verstappen approaching behind you on the same tires, you need to gauge how much you can slow down. He has handled the situation very well, but obviously his head is always on the problem, with the fear that it could get worse all the time. This sends you into crisis“.