Ferrari drivers are forced to lift and drop at ‘every corner’ in the Brazilian Formula 1 race

Ferrari drivers are forced to lift and drop at ‘every corner’ in the Brazilian Formula 1 race

After eventual winner Max Verstappen passed Team Positter’s Lando Norris in the first turn of Saturday’s 24-lap race at Interlagos, almost the entire field complained about having to control the temperatures.

While Charles Leclerc rose from seventh to fifth and his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz gained a place to eighth, both were severely restricted by the need to jump off the throttle.

Sainz believes it was the most lift and go he has ever experienced after the pair finished the race on a used set of soft Pirelli tyres.

“We were going to use the worst combinations we had available and saved the good ones for (Sunday’s Grand Prix) so hopefully that will help us,” he said.

“But it wouldn’t be very positive if we needed to keep doing a lot of lifting and coasting, which was very difficult with our temperatures. We simply couldn’t get on with our race.”

The Spaniard added that he also needs to back off when running in clean air, and not just when catching up with other cars.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL 60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT0

Photography: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL 60, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04, Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT0

It is also why Daniel Ricciardo was able to keep re-passing the Ferrari, with Sainz relying on DRS to compensate for his early braking.

He continued: “I hope it goes in a better direction but today is the most lifting and coasting I’ve ever had to do.

“I had to do so much lifting and descending that I couldn’t even brake, so I had to make sure I had DRS to at least be quick on the straights.”

Team boss Frederic Vasseur said his drivers were left “exposed” by a mistake.

“We made a small mistake with the cooling today and asked the drivers to do a huge, expensive lift from the second lap,” he revealed.

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Leclerc said he was falling behind “at every corner” but expressed hope that starting from second in the Grand Prix would relieve some of the pressure.

Despite this, he opined that Red Bull’s pace on Saturday meant it would be almost “irrelevant” to overtake Verstappen off the line.

“The cars are going so fast now that you have to do that kind of lifting… but certainly, from my part, it was the worst (so far this year),” he said.

“If this is the pace of the cars, I’m sure that even if I pass him it’s somewhat irrelevant, because I think in two or three laps, he should pass me.”

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