Following its dismal start to the season, Ferrari established itself as the third fastest team at the British Grand Prix both on low- and high-fuel thanks to Charles Leclerc’s flawless performance.
Ferrari was expected to struggle at the Silverstone track with the Scuderia admitting ahead of the weekend that it might face two rather challenging races. However, Charles Leclerc surprised his own team by driving without making a single mistake and securing a podium finish following a late-race tyre drama for Valtteri Bottas.
"It was a difficult day, but a good one. I am very satisfied with this result. We know we were a bit lucky, but sometimes these things happen and you need to be there to take the opportunity. I am satisfied with the way in which we have been working this weekend and I am very proud of the team. I am also pleased with my performance, especially with regards to tyre management. It was not easy.
As Ferrari was aware of its huge deficit concerning the straight-line speed, the Scuderia brought an extremely low-downforce rear wing to Silverstone. The Friday practice sessions made the Italian team concerned about its radical setup direction, but it hung on to the adventurous approach. Leclerc has revealed that he managed to extract everything from the current version of the SF1000.
„We had a very aggressive downforce level coming here, so we had quite a lot of speed in the straights but difficulties in the corners. I struggled quite a bit to get the tyres to the right temperature, especially after the safety car. Once they were in the right window, things became less tricky though. I think we did quite a good job with the setup and the balance of the car, and it was very nice to drive.
„We extracted absolutely everything from the package today. Of course, we don’t want to be fighting for fourth place for too much longer, but at the moment that’s what our car is capable of,” Leclerc concluded.
The Monegasque’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel endured a very different weekend after his technical problems on Friday. The German was forced to sit out the first practice session only to then be affected by issues to his brake pedal in the second and third practice. As he was unable to build up his confidence and a good setup for his SF1000, he was struggling to find his rhythm around the high-speed track of Silverstone.
Vettel said his British Grand Prix " was a very difficult race, because I couldn’t challenge anyone. Many of those behind me were a bit faster and managed to get past, as I was struggling massively to find grip in this car, even though I tried lots of different things this weekend.
I didn’t have the required pace and so my confidence level is quite low at the moment, because I’m struggling to get a feel for the car and every time I try and push, I lose the car. I think we need to have a look at this problem together with the engineers."