Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2024

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

Lap time watch: 2024 British GP

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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.”

George Russell, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2024
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 fourth-fastest team, their best performance so far this season.

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After a run of better weekends, Alpine slipped back to last among the teams for the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix. However circumstances have made them look worse than they are.

Pierre Gasly had no reason to risk anything in qualifying as he knew he had a penalty which means he will start the race from the back of the grid, and a communication error prevented Esteban Ocon from getting his last flying lap in Q1, where he was eliminated. Alpine were therefore the only team not to run in the drier conditions later in qualifying.

Sector times

P. # Driver S1 S2 S3 Ultimate lap (deficit)
1 63 George Russell 27.994 (4) 34.508 (1) 23.295 (1) 1’25.797 (+0.022)
2 44 Lewis Hamilton 27.918 (3) 34.618 (4) 23.382 (2) 1’25.918 (+0.072)
3 4 Lando Norris 28.025 (7) 34.567 (2) 23.438 (3) 1’26.030
4 1 Max Verstappen 28.036 (8) 34.587 (3) 23.48 (5) 1’26.103 (+0.100)
5 27 Nico Hulkenberg 27.886 (1) 34.783 (6) 23.462 (4) 1’26.131 (+0.207)
6 81 Oscar Piastri 28.043 (9) 34.701 (5) 23.493 (6) 1’26.237
7 18 Lance Stroll 27.892 (2) 34.941 (10) 23.542 (8) 1’26.375 (+0.210)
8 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr 28.009 (6) 34.891 (8) 23.538 (7) 1’26.438 (+0.071)
9 23 Alexander Albon 28.004 (5) 34.874 (7) 23.637 (10) 1’26.515 (+0.125)
10 14 Fernando Alonso 28.113 (10) 34.915 (9) 23.631 (9) 1’26.659 (+0.071)
11 16 Charles Leclerc 28.117 (12) 35.16 (12) 23.82 (12) 1’27.097
12 2 Logan Sargeant 28.251 (13) 35.129 (11) 23.795 (11) 1’27.175
13 22 Yuki Tsunoda 28.115 (11) 35.163 (13) 23.991 (14) 1’27.269
14 24 Zhou Guanyu 28.252 (14) 35.502 (14) 24.007 (15) 1’27.761 (+0.106)
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo 28.338 (15) 35.594 (15) 23.937 (13) 1’27.869 (+0.080)
16 77 Valtteri Bottas 29.149 (16) 37.552 (17) 25.73 (16) 1’32.431
17 20 Kevin Magnussen 29.356 (17) 37.446 (16) 25.872 (18) 1’32.674 (+0.231)
18 31 Esteban Ocon 29.752 (18) 38.201 (18) 25.749 (17) 1’33.702 (+0.855)
19 11 Sergio Perez 31.109 (20) 39.336 (19) 27.747 (20) 1’38.192 (+0.156)
20 10 Pierre Gasly 30.327 (19) 40.506 (20) 27.681 (19) 1’38.514 (+1.283)

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Lap times fell by almost a second year-on-year at Silverstone. The current cars are now only one-and-a-half seconds slower than the quickest of the previous generation.

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2024 British Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Ferrari fall behind Haas to fifth team as Leclerc admits they’ve “lost performance””

  1. Don’t forget that without the rain in FP3 & early in qualifying, the gap to last year’s pole time would’ve been even greater & oppositely the deficit to the outright record would’ve been smaller.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      7th July 2024, 9:51

      Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve.

      Maybe faster due to more rubber. Maybe slower due to higher temperatures, different wind direction, lower air pressure.
      We simply don’t know.

  2. Not sure AM’s signing of Enrico Cardile is looking as good now.

  3. Ferrari needs to urgently review this season’s development. They have not just failed to match Red Bull, McLaren or Mercedes, but are sliding back behind even more teams. Something in their process isn’t working as they think it is.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      7th July 2024, 12:45

      I don’t think it is just the car.
      They managed to upset one of their drivers and the other seems to have a very average season.

  4. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    7th July 2024, 13:48

    Who knows, maybe Ferrari decided they can’t win this season so they’re aiming for 4th to maximise CFD time etc ready for their stars arrival.

    Or maybe Ferrari have just done a Ferrari.

    1. I think for a more thoughtful team, what you said would be considered an advanced strategy, but for ferrari I’m skeptical indeed, the call for inters so early for leclerc was terrible, like always: in canada they left him on slicks while raining and here they put him on intermediates with very little water, these are obvious calls to make.

      I had seen some signs of improvement operationally but we’re back to the ferrari of old, I know it’s early, but I have no more trust in vasseur, now it’s up to him to prove me wrong and show visible improvement.

      Car development wise it’s also very bad still, it’s been a ferrari weakness for a very long time now.

      On other hand I’m impressed by haas, it’s clear that steiner was the weak link, which is very satisfying to me since I completely disagree with his handling of mick schumacher.

  5. I call it the Raikkonen Alonso-Santander curse.

Comments are closed.