Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix is done and dusted. For Scuderia Ferrari, the session can only be summed up in one word- disaster. Ferrari acknowledged its struggles heading into the first race of the season but the Italian team performed far worse than expected. Sebastian Vettel couldn’t even make it to Q3 and will start the race from P11. His team radio perfectly captured the shock of Ferrari and Vettel fans.
For those who missed qualifying, Ferrari finished the session with Leclerc and Vettel in p7 and p11 respectively. Let alone Red Bull and Mercedes, Ferrari failed to even challenge the stronger midfield teams.
While Leclerc was Ferrari’s saving grace (qualifying seventh), this was one of the most embarrassing qualifying sessions for the Scuderia.
Vettel’s final run in Q2 was compromised when the German made a tiny error heading into turn 1 on his flying lap. The 4 times World Champion went too hot into the tricky right-hander and nearly lost it altogether. Fortunately, the sausage kerb prevented too much damage.
While his mistake wasn’t the end of the world, Ferrari simply lacked the pace to challenge any of the top 4. The German missed out on making It to Q3 by a mere fraction.
As frustrating it must have been for the German, he wasn’t very vocal on the team radio. Instead, the 4 times World Champion opted for silence. An uncomfortable silence which only paints a bleak picture for Ferrari’s chances in salvaging this season.
“P11 P11, weighbridge, weighbridge,” said Sebastian’s engineer. The German replied with two words before turning to silence.
“Copy weighbridge” replied a crestfallen Vettel.
His engineer follows up with a few more instructions. However, Vettel remained quiet.
The only silver lining in Vettel’s qualifying catastrophe is the fact that he has free tire choice in tomorrow’s race. Should Ferrari opt for the medium compound, the German could still muster up a better result.
Mercedes start tomorrow’s race with yet another front-row lockout. The Brackley outfit absolutely bossed Q3 to give Hamilton and Bottas a front-row start. It’ll be interesting to see if Ferrari can turn its fortunes around tomorrow.