Formula 1 in Barcelona: Analysis of Ferrari’s error in Maranello – Sport

After Charles Leclerc jumped out of the cockpit, he first went to the mechanics. One by one, he gave them five fans. He then crossed the pit lane for a further handshake to the command post where the engineers and team principal Mattia Binotto were watching the Spanish Grand Prix. The race was still in full swing, and the field had not even completed half of the 66 laps at that point.

Leclerc had previously made comfortable lead and looked safely on his way to a win from the lights to the flag in the Barcelona heat. But things went differently, his Ferrari failed him. And Leclerc and Scuderia’s handling of the situation provided insight into the team’s mood.

Leclerc was spinning more than a dozen seconds behind nearest chaser Max Verstappen when his car suddenly lost power on lap 27. F1-75 was slowing and slowing and Monaco understood perfectly what that meant. “No! No! No, what happened?” He called the radio to the pits, where he parked his car shortly thereafter. The answer is still pending, on Monday the engine will be disassembled and checked at the headquarters in Maranello. “It came out of nowhere,” Leclerc said. “I’ve never felt anything before.” “It’s always disappointing when you’re fighting for the World Cup, every point is worth it.”

As a result of his first retirement of the season, his 19-point advantage in the overall standings turned into a six-point deficit. Leclerc is now second behind race winner and defending champion Verstappen – for the first time this year.

Changes to Ferrari achieve the desired effect

The Dutchman won three times in a row, but failed twice before. With Sergio Perez in second place, Red Bull was doubly happy in Spain. They are now also in the lead in the constructors’ championship. Swing the pendulum in the direction of the world champions. But only six of the 22 Grand Prix have been driven, which is one reason Ferrari has remained visibly calm despite all the disappointment. “It’s going to be a long season,” said Binotto, who also praised Leclerc for his handling of the mechanics. “Something like this has happened to others. It’s our turn today. That’s how the game works. We have to get to the bottom of the problem now.”

Good start: Charles Leclerc leaves the competition at Barcelona safely behind.

(Photo: Lars Baron/Getty)

Basically, the 2022 model, which has been shown again, works great. Ferrari has arrived with a comprehensive upgrade package. The changes made to the car achieved the desired effect. Leclerc dominated the drills, in qualifying he was pressured by the spin, but kept calm and eventually completed the fastest lap. And if the power unit issue had not occurred in the race, Sunday would have been happy for Leclerc. It featured not only the speed and harmonious development of the F1-75, but also the improved tire management. “In situations like this, it’s good to also look at the positive,” Leclerc said. “I feel better than I did after the last weekend.”

A couple of weeks ago in Miami, the 24-year-old finished second behind Verstappen. In Imola, in front of tens of thousands of Ferraristi, Leclerc lost third with a driving error with ten laps left and finished sixth. Shame, as he found after two wins and second place. The pressure was great. Expectations have changed because the possibilities are different. The Scuderia knows how much potential their car has. Self-confidence has regained its steam, which is also reflected in the fact that Binotto, who is generally headstrong, sometimes leaves a tip or two in Red Bull’s direction.

With the inaugural victory in Bahrain, Leclerc Ferrari’s dry run since September 2019 is over

In 2019, in his first year with the traditional racing team, Leclerc was amazed by his driving style and self-confident appearance. He finished the fourth season, ahead of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. The team finished second behind Mercedes. 2020, on the other hand, was a disaster, more than sixth place was not possible. With new driver pairing Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. – who is still struggling – 2021 was clearly a transitional year. In light of the changes to the regulations that will come into effect in 2022, the focus has been entirely on the development of the new automobile.

The result was immediately convincing: Leclerc won the start in Bahrain and ended the long wait for a first win since Vettel in September 2019. The last time the world champion in a red car was Kimi Raikkonen in 2007. At Leclerc, the Italians see the man with the ability to end the drought This long. Human and machine coordinate better than they have for a long time.

Only now there is a little time to analyze the error. Chapter One is already visiting Monte Carlo this week, where Charles Leclerc grew up. One would think home advantage: he never finished here in a Formula 1 car. Recently, even the historic Grand Prix race joined the negative series a week ago. Leclerc drove the legendary Ferrari 312 B3 driven by Niki Lauda in 1974. On the Rascasse bend, Leclerc lost control and hit the fender. After that it was mostly he who needed rejoicing.

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