September 25, 2021

Leclerc, Vettel downbeat as Ferrari hit new low

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“It’s the true picture – it’s what the car can do,” says Vettel after P13 and P14 for Ferrari in Belgian GP qualifying

By Matt Morlidge

Last Updated: 29/08/20 5:21pm

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Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel struggle to explain why both Ferraris failed to make it to Q3 ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel struggle to explain why both Ferraris failed to make it to Q3 ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel said they were disappointed but “not surprised” after Ferrari’s woeful Belgian GP qualifying, with both cars failing to make Q3 for the first time in six years.

Ferrari’s dramatic fall from the front has been one of the talking points of the season so far and at Spa – where they locked out the front row last year – the Scuderia hit a new low with Leclerc and Vettel only 13th and 14th.

Their drivers, both happy with their laps, also barely escaped a Q1 exit as Ferrari’s issues – namely straight-line speed – were highlighted on Saturday.

“It’s very difficult to find an explanation,” Leclerc admitted. “It’s a big step back.

“We need to try and find the main issue to try and address it. The team need to keep their heads up but I also understand the fans at home who are very frustrated.”

Leclerc added that the team cannot “expect any miracles” in Sunday’s race given their lowly grid slots and lack of pace.

All the other Ferrari-powered cards were eliminated in Q1.

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Watch as both Ferrari drivers were knocked out in Q2 ahead of the Belgian GP.

Watch as both Ferrari drivers were knocked out in Q2 ahead of the Belgian GP.

The Monegasque driver, and four-time world champion team-mate Vettel have often masked Ferrari’s frailties with some great drives this year, but couldn’t wrestle the SF1000 into contention in Belgium.

“It’s the true picture – it’s what the car can do,” said Vettel. “We’re not where we want to be but that’s not the first race or first qualifying where that’s the case.

“We tried our best. It’s the car that we have and it’s the car that we’ve had for the whole season. So it’s not a surprise today.

“This morning it looked like we would not get through to Q2.”

It was only the eighth time both Ferraris had failed to reach Q3 since the current qualifying system was implemented in 2006, with most of the previous failures down to weather changes of driver replacements.

The 2014 British GP was the last time both of the drivers didn’t make the final shootout, when Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were knocked out in a rain-affected Q1.