Leclerc & Sainz Blame Ferrari’s Poor Rain Prediction for the Qualifying Failure at Spa

Published 08/28/2021, 11:53 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during qualifying REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


Spa Francorchamps portrayed what is undeniably one of the most unpredictable qualifying sessions in years, with George Russell securing an absolutely unexpected front-row start to the race. However, a lot was expected of the Ferrari drivers, which ended in shambles.

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Neither Carlos Sainz nor Charles Leclerc qualified into the final part of qualifying. And it is strange to see the duo ultimately lurking in P11 and P13.

Why, you might ask?

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Well, the Scuderia looked screaming fast through the practice sessions and a top 5 finish was always on cards.

So, this brings us to the next question – what went wrong with Ferrari?

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during qualifying REUTERS/Johanna Geron

Sainz assigned part-blame on the timing. He felt that the predicted rain came much later, leaving the Spaniard having to set his final lap time much earlier than others on a fast-drying track.

We went out on intermediates shortly before the rain was supposed to start. The rain then came three minutes later, which meant that we were too early. That’s the way it is,” he said according to Formel1. (Translated via Google Translate)

Sainz and Leclerc unhappy with Ferrari

The Spaniard reckoned that his car lacked enough grip, and it felt unusually off, leading to a disappointing P13. “That wasn’t my problem today. My problem was the feeling in the car. I had no grip on the front axle and just no feeling in the car,” Sainz said.

Leclerc, however, offered a counter-opinion on the miserable outing, as he felt that his Ferrari was just not good enough for wet conditions.

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I was pretty pissed off under my helmet and made that clear on the radio. They told me, however, that they expected rain, so I now understand why we went out earlier. Especially in qualifying, I was actually happy with the balance. The performance is just not that good under these conditions. McLaren was very impressive,” he said.

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 27, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during practice REUTERS/Johanna Geron

I felt stronger than eleventh place. We were definitely not strong enough for the top five, but we would have been somewhere between fifth and tenth place today.”

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Overall, it was undeniably a tough Saturday for Ferrari. But this isn’t the end. With more rains predicted on Sunday, the Reds will be looking to use the possible treacherous conditions to their advantage. So, can Ferrari pull off a heist on Sunday to finish the Belgian Grand Prix on a strong note?

Watch Story: Ferrari Strategy Fails We Will Never Forget

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Rohit Kumar

1163 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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