Friday, March 31, 2023

Ferrari drivers dismiss stories of unrest at Maranello

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz hit out at media stories of turmoil behind the scenes at Maranello after the Italian workforce’s disappointing begin to the Components One season.

Spaniard Sainz accepted Ferrari wanted to do a greater job however mentioned the temper again dwelling was “a lot better than the news makes it sound”.

“When you look back at this last weekend and how many rumours have been around it seems like the place is not in a great moment,” he advised reporters forward of Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“It is so clear to us what we need to improve, how we need to do it and what are the short, medium and long-term targets that I actually am very surprised how some people back at home have been trying to destabilise a bit the team.”

Ferrari received two of the primary three races final yr however Purple Bull ended up with 17 victories from 22 rounds — double world champion Max Verstappen claiming 15.

Leclerc, runner-up to Verstappen final season, retired in Bahrain on March 5 with an digital management unit drawback whereas Sainz completed fourth, got rid of the rostrum by compatriot Fernando Alonso in an Aston Martin.

One Italian media report final week instructed Leclerc had met Ferrari president John Elkann final week to hunt particular person assurances.

“This is absolutely untrue,” mentioned the Monegasque, who has a 10-place grid penalty for the race in Jeddah because of the management unit having to be switched out.

“There have been loads of rumours around the team which, for once, 90% of them were completely unfounded.”

Leclerc mentioned the management unit drawback had been understood and shouldn’t trigger any additional concern and the workforce had been united.

“I saw these rumours and then I went to Maranello so at first I was like ‘I’m not sure how the team is going to react to it’,” he mentioned of the media stories.

“But then we’ve had a meeting with the whole team, all the Ferrari employees, and I was really surprised. Everybody is fully on it and fully positive still.”

Sainz mentioned the high-speed and easy Jeddah circuit needs to be higher for Ferrari than Bahrain however beating the Purple Bulls would nonetheless be “extremely difficult”.

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