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Ferrari hurting after worst Monza qualifying in three decades

Simon Chapman

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Sunday 6th September, 2020 - 8:50am

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Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel qualified outside the top 10

Ferrari has suffered its worst qualifying performance at the Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix since 1984 after both cars failed to make the top 10.

It was 36 years ago that Michele Alboreto qualified 11th on the grid while Rene Arnoux was 14th in the Ferrari 126C4.

Charles Leclerc led the way for the Scuderia in qualifying this weekend at Monza with the 13th fastest time in Q2.

Team-mate Sebastian Vettel failed to make it out Q1 and was only 17th in his SF1000 after he was compromised by traffic.

The four-time world champion spent part of the remainder of the session watching from the sidelines at the Parabolica.

With Vettel set to start from 17th, it will mark the first time since 1966 that a Ferrari driver has started outside the top 15 when Giancarlo Baghetti started in 16th at Monza.

It’s a significant year-on-year turn around for the team having claimed pole position and the grand prix win with Leclerc in 2019.

The 22-year-old Monegasque said the poor qualifying result was a bitter pill to swallow.

“It hurts even more that it’s at home,” said Leclerc.

“But it’s the reality at the moment for us unfortunately and it’s like this. We need to work and hopefully from Mugello, which is still home for Ferrari, hopefully it will be a bit better than here.”

The poor showing in qualifying comes after a torrid time at the Belgian Grand Prix where Vettel and Leclerc finished 13th and 14th respectively at Spa-Francorchamps.

Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonnen finished in 12th as the leading Ferrari-powered entry.

Leclerc said the team expected to struggle on low downforce circuits this year, and anticipated that will continue.

“We know that Spa and here are probably the two worst tracks for us, with another one probably a bit later in the year but it’s like this,” said Leclerc.

“It’s tough because once you do a good lap and you get P13, it doesn’t feel good. But for now it’s like this and I need to extract the maximum out of the car in the situation we are in and that’s what I try to do.

“I hope that from next race onwards, we will see a light at the end of the tunnel, because for now that’s two very tough weekends for us where we are trying many things on the car, but we don’t find a way through for now.

“So we need to keep our head down, stay motivated and better days will be coming I’m sure.”

Qualifying was a Mercedes dominated affair with Lewis Hamilton edging out team-mate Valtteri Bottas to pole position for the Italian Grand Prix.

The Italian Grand Prix gets underway from 23:10 AEST tonight.

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