Formula 1 Racing

Ferrari fall behind Haas to fifth team as Leclerc admit they’ve “lost performance”

George Russell, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2024

A rain-affected qualifying session for the British Grand Prix saw several changes in the pecking order at the sharp end of the field.

But while the damp conditions undoubtedly affected the balance of power between the teams, the continuation of recent trends was also apparent in the results.

Mercedes, for instance, have been on a clear upward trend recently. George Russell took pole position in Canada and should have done so by a much more emphatic margin. At the second race this year where Mercedes turned up with the fastest car, they delivered.

Ferrari, however, have gone in the opposite direction and clearly hit a rough patch since their last win, scored by Charles Leclerc in Monaco. “For sure we’ve lost some performance since Monaco, as a matter of fact,” he told media including RaceFans after qualifying yesterday. “We are looking into it.”

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After conducting tests with the car in different aerodynamic specifications the team has reverted to a configuration it last used at Imola, the race prior to Monaco. That helped reduce the high-speed bouncing which has affected them more in recent races. “It was a little bit better,” said Leclerc after qualifying, “and that is the main reason why we came back to the old package.”

Mercedes were quickest for the second time this year

“We came to the conclusion that it was the right choice to come back for this weekend, mostly because of bouncing,” he added. “We’ll take the right decision for the future very soon. What we’ve done yesterday was very helpful to help us take the right decision going forward.”

However Leclerc admitted that going back to an earlier specification has compromised Ferrari in the short-term this weekend. “I feel like yesterday we learned a good amount for the team by splitting the cars [set-ups],” he said.

“That comes also with the fact that you are not really optimising your weekend and focusing on performance only. Obviously today we [missed] Q3 by a tenth and it was the first time I was driving with this configuration on the dry after FP3 in wet. So all in all, we are struggling to optimise the weekend.

“But I think that it will help us long term, what we’ve done yesterday. However, I feel like we’re paying a little bit the price today.”

Meanwhile one of Ferrari’s customer teams, Haas, appears to have made significant progress with the upgrade it introduced this weekend. They are the…

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