Ferrari ‘bitter’ and ‘angry’ after disastrous qualifying
A disastrous qualifying session at the German Grand Prix for Ferrari in which both cars suffered reliability issues has left the team ‘bitter’ and ‘angry’.
Sebastian Vettel failed to set a time at all in the session before he was forced to climb out of his car, and will start last for Sunday’s race as a result.
Team-mate Charles Leclerc fared slightly better, but he too was forced to vacate his Ferrari before the end of the session when issues befell his car too.
It leaves the team, which had topped the opening day’s running in Hockenheim and was tipped to contend for pole position, with cars in 10th and last on the grid.
“I don’t know what happened,” admitted a deflated Vettel following the session.
“Something broke in the turbo and it was game over from there, so obviously very bitter.
“I think the car was great; (we) lost out on a big chance, but hopefully we’ll have a big one coming again tomorrow.
“For sure I’m looking forward to the race, but obviously it would’ve been nicer to start at the very front and not the very back.”
“I’m pretty empty really, very bitter and disappointed, especially here, especially as the car was good,” he added.
“I had a good feeling yesterday, better this morning but didn’t put everything together, so I thought we had a really good chance.
“The car was good and we did some changes so it should have been great for this afternoon but it just wasn’t meant to be.”
While it was a turbo issue for Vettel, an unrelated fuel systems issue inhibited Leclerc in the sister car.
Having made it through to Qualifying 3, the 21-year-old failed to set a time in the final stanza and was therefore consigned to 10th.
“In the car I felt bad for Seb at first because (an issue with) only one car it’s just a shame, but when we had the problem it was even worse,” said Leclerc.
“It’s just very difficult that both cars are out, the team doesn’t deserve it.”
“We were definitely very quick,” he reasoned.
“In Q2 we had to keep a little bit the tyres so I was confident for Q3 and unfortunately we don’t have the laps to show how quick we were, but I definitely believe it was one of those opportunities.”
Team boss Mattia Binotto admitted that the double retirement from qualifying was ‘bitterly disappointing’ for the team.
“We are angry with ourselves and I myself feel responsible for what has happened, but I am also aware that we must react calmly and do our best tomorrow,” Binotto asserted.
The Italian went on to explain that two unprecedented failures were the cause of the double retirement, with the team now working through to fully understand how they happened.
“We are now carrying out an in-depth analysis of what happened,” he explained.
“What we do know is that they were two completely different problems, neither of which had ever occurred before.
“The first indications from Sebastian’s car lead us to believe it could be related to a component on the intercooler.
“The component is to the same specification as those used previously and it was fitted new.
“Charles had a problem with the fuel pump control unit.
“At the moment the entire team is bitterly disappointed.
“We have shown this weekend that our race pace is good, which makes it even more frustrating that we were not able to show what we could do in qualifying,” he concluded.
The German Grand Prix begins at 2310 AEST on Sunday evening.