After Persistently Getting Put Down for Their Strategic Failures, Ferrari Earn Praise for Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz’s Tactical Recovery in Montreal

Published 06/24/2023, 11:45 AM EDT

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via Reuters

The Tifosi finally got the good strategy they had hoped for so long at the Canadian GP. Before race day, the Canadian GP weekend was turning out to be another one Ferrari would eventually add to its ever-growing list of bad weekends. With insufficient track running, dynamic weather conditions, and mishaps throughout the weekend, no Ferrari fan would’ve been looking forward to the race, especially when Circuit Gilles Villeneuve has been a good hunting ground for the Scuderia in the past. But when Sunday came, fortunes—and, more importantly, strategies—changed, and the Tifosi got what they wanted.

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The Tifosi weren’t the only ones surprised by Ferrari’s turnaround, carried out by Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Former F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle was surprised too, and he shared his thoughts.

Martin Brundle lauds Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz for their recovery

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Ferrari hasn’t been known for its great strategies in the past. And the qualifying session at Montreal further proved why. After Sainz crashed in FP3, Ferrari’s luck took a turn. The team managed to patch up his car for qualifying, and both Ferraris looked in a good position to qualify at the front of the field. But due to the changing weather conditions and a bad tire strategy call (that Leclerc suggested against), the Monegasque was knocked out of Q2. Even though Sainz made it to Q3 and qualified in P8, he was handed a grid penalty for impeding Pierre Gasly in Q1.

via Reuters

The pair started P10 and P11 in the race, Leclerc ahead of Sainz. On lap 12, Russell crashed into the wall at Turn 9, bringing out the Safety Car. But instead of pitting for fresher tires like the frontrunners did, Ferrari chose to stay out on both cars and, in the process, gain places. Once racing resumed, Charles and Carlos were in P4 and P5, and they stayed there the rest of the race, crossing the line for the team’s second-best result of the season.

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In his column for Sky, as reported by speedweek.com, Martin Brundle wrote, “The fast cars that started further back in the race, i.e. the two Ferraris from Leclerc and Sainz and the Red Bull Racing racer from Pérez, didn’t stop to move up the order. It turned out to be the right decision as the three finished 4th to 6th after starting from 10th to 12th on the grid.” [translated via Google]

Given the cool track conditions, the Ferraris did well to bring their tires up to temperature, something both Red Bulls were struggling with. In terms of pace on medium and hard compound tires, Ferrari was the best team during the race, and Helmut Marko attests to this.

Helmut Marko was wary of Ferrari in Montreal

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Red Bull has a good tire degradation rate. But in the cold conditions during the Canadian GP, this prevented the tires on both cars from getting up to the ideal temperature, especially on the hard compound tires. Because of this, Verstappen couldn’t pull away from the pack, and Perez couldn’t catch the Ferraris. 

via Reuters

Ferrari, on the other hand, doesn’t have a very good tire degradation rate. But this allowed the tires on both cars to fire up and get to the ideal race temperature, which invariably helped them build a gap to the cars behind Perez and helped them finish fourth and fifth. While talking to the media after the race, Helmut Marko said, “I have to say, thank God Ferrari had to start so far back because they were actually the fastest on both compounds.”

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A good strategy call that ended in a good result for Ferrari has been a long time coming. What did you think of Ferrari’s performance at the Canadian GP? Will it be able to carry this momentum into Austria?

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Written by:

Aditi Krishnan

757Articles

One take at a time

Aditi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports and is essentially a sportsperson. She fell in love with F1 in 2020. It happened when her brother tuned into that first race weekend in Austria, and she knew right then and there that she had to learn everything she could about the sport.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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