Ferrari’s miserable season only got worse as the Italian manufacturer failed to finish either car in the top 10 at its home Grand Prix for the first time since 1984.
Sebastian Vettel didn’t make it out of the first qualifying round and was only able to boast a low 17th place, while teammate Charles Leclerc made it into the second qualifying round but could only manage 13th on the grid ahead of Sunday’s race.
Ferrari knew it would be fighting for speed at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, but even they could not have predicted things would get this bad.
Leclerc sits fifth in the Drivers’ Championship on 45 points, already 112 points behind runaway leader Lewis Hamilton. Things are even worse for four-time world champion Vettel, who has just 16 points and sits in 13th place.
In the constructors’ championship, Ferrari is fifth and a whopping 203 points behind leader Mercedes.
One tiny ray of hope for Ferrari is that its ardent supporters – known as the “Supporters” – were not present to witness the disastrous performance as the races are still being run behind closed doors.
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“In the end we were a bit expecting it to come into the weekend,” a visibly frustrated Leclerc told Sky Sports. “We knew Spa [last weekend] and here were the two worst tracks for us. It’s so… it’s hard.
“It’s like that at the moment and I have to get the maximum out of the car. It hurts even more that it’s home. This is the reality for us at the moment. We have to work,” said Leclerc.
At the top of the standings, Mercedes recorded another one-two as Lewis Hamilton clinched his 8th pole at the Italian Grand Prix, with teammate Valtteri Bottas losing by a tenth of a second to start second on the grid.
“It was a fantastic performance from the team,” Hamilton told Sky Sports. “It wasn’t the easiest, you saw how close it was between us. It took a clean lap and I got both.
“Valtteri was strong and kept pushing, I was a bit nervous going through the last sector. In the years that I’ve been here I’ve had times where we had less downforce and grip, [but] the speed through the lesmos [corner] was great. It’s trying to find the right balance, which isn’t that easy,” Hamilton said.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz arguably showed the performance of the day, securing 3rd place for his best-ever grid position, while Racing Point driver Sergio Perez’s 4th-place matched his best-ever qualifying position.
- 2. Bottas
- 3. Sainz
- 4. Perez
- 5. Verstappen
- 6. Norris
- 7. Ricciardo
- 8. Strolling
- 9. Albon
- 10. Gassy