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Ferrari hoping for F1 “sanity check” in British GP

Team boss Fred Vasseur hopes Ferrari can perform a “sanity check” when Formula 1 returns to its traditional weekend format at the British Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz picked up his first podium since Monaco at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, with team-mate Charles Leclerc hamstrung by early damage to his front wing that resulted in an unscheduled pitstop for repairs.

The performance followed a weekend in Spain where the duo failed to make an impression on the podium positions as it slipped behind Mercedes, while both drivers endured a miserable time at the Canadian Grand Prix last month.

Yet while Sainz’s finish at the Red Bull Ring provides optimism of a rebound, the fact it came after Max Verstappen and Lando Norris collided when battling for the lead means the results of the sprint, where the Spaniard finished fifth and Leclerc seventh, were more representative.

Both drivers have complained about different problems they have in driving the car in recent races but when asked about the issues faced by the team, Vasseur gave a more positive outlook on its fortunes.

“The word issue is a big one,” he said.

“[In qualifying] when we arrived at Turn 3, we were one-tenth in advance on Norris. It means that if we close the lap – and I know that we have to close the lap – I think the perception of this is completely different.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager, Scuderia Ferrari

Photo by: Ferrari

“But for sure, even when you get pole position and even when you win the race, you have issues on the car. If you don’t have an issue, you are at the beginning of the end.

“With their driving styles and so on, they can have different [issues]. But we changed the car massively between Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon and I think it was better.

“We changed a little bit the weakness of the car from corner to corner, but I think overall, we are there.”

Teams were afforded just one practice session to prepare for competition in Austria but, with the format reverting for the return to Silverstone, Vasseur wants to use the extra practice to confirm his beliefs.

“I think it will be helpful for us to have FP1 and FP2 in Silverstone, also if the weather is good, to do a sanity check on everything,” he explained.

“But strangely I’m not negative on the performance – strangely because we were in the race, we are far away from Max. But I had the feeling that we were able to get more.”

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