(Motorsport-Total.com) – With fourth place, Charles Leclerc probably delivered the surprise of the Eifel Saturday in qualifying at the Nürburgring. After the past few weeks hardly anyone would have thought that Ferrari would be able to achieve such a result. At Scuderia they are happy about the progress, but they are still very careful and do not want to overestimate the result (Formula 1 2020 live in the ticker).
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“Charles put in a very good performance and it was generally a good day for the team,” said sporting director Laurent Mekies. “We have had very tough weeks and months so it is very encouraging for our efforts to find our way back into a good direction of development.” The result is therefore not necessarily good for Saturday, but rather for the future.
According to Mekies, the fact that you were suddenly able to perform so well is mainly due to three factors. The first factor is the upgrade that Ferrari brought to the Nürburgring. There was already a small package for the car in Sochi, and the next step has now followed in the Eifel.
“Hopefully we hit the ground a few weeks ago. And now we’re trying to find the solution to our problems,” said Mekies. “It’s a long way. I’m sure it will go up and down, but today is the first step in this direction after Sochi. And hopefully the car will have a little more performance.”
Strong Leclerc and special circumstances
The second success factor for the Ferrari man is the performance of Charles Leclerc. While Sebastian Vettel could not show the progress with eleventh place, the Monegasse got everything out of the car. “He drove a very, very good qualifying,” praised Mekies.
And last but not least, the head of sport does not want to forget that special circumstances prevail at the Nürburgring after Friday was completely canceled. “That will always mix up the balance of power a little – for better and for worse,” he says.
Before qualifying, Ferrari was worried about getting the right tire window in the cold temperatures. Because you have had more problems with that this season. But the topic went pretty well for the Scuderia.
“I don’t know how much our opponents struggled with that,” said Mekies. “But I would just assume that it was a good Saturday for us and the upgrades gave us the necessary tenths of a second that can make the difference in such a tight field. Two tenths better and you’re in good shape with fourth place, third Tenths worse and you are not in Q3. We have to be realistic. “
The race as a great unknown
It is also questionable whether Ferrari can keep its good form in the race. Leclerc also had a good starting position at Mugello before he went further and further back on Sunday. The race will be a big unknown for the teams due to the lack of preparation, and Mekies expects it won’t look exactly like qualifying.
“There will be surprises because we didn’t have the chance to do long runs,” he says. This means that the teams have to read the race and react to the circumstances. “That will make for a good race. And when there is a little less perfection, there is more fun for everyone.”
In line with this, some drivers had already spoken out in favor of putting Friday to the test. If Mekies has its way, it could always be like this: “That’s the challenge we want in racing,” he says. Normally, all teams prepare intensively in the simulator and then only look on Friday to see whether the reality is like it is on the computer.
“And a weekend without this gives us an indication of our preparation,” says Mekies positively. “You can always learn something.”