BEST SPORTS: To very inconsistent SF-23 car ahead of Emilia Romagna GP after Miami struggles…Ferrari seeks answer

This sports update is brought to you by Best Sports

At Imola after struggling during the Miami GP, Ferrari is seeking answers to their very inconsistent SF-23 car ahead of their home race

Charles finished seventh and Carlos fifth at the Miami GP. Both drivers had their inconsistency with Ferrari’s SF-23 which made them struggle to fight rivals; Team principal Fred sought answers to why cars behave differently between drivers and tyres during the same race

After a crash in Qualifying, Charles started seventh in the USA and he failed to make headway throughout the race, however, finishing in the same position and 53 seconds behind race winner Max who had started ninth on the grid. Team-mate Carlos Sainz meanwhile finished fifth having started third as the lack of race pace that has plagued Ferrari in 2023 continued. Leclerc revealed how he is struggling to gain confidence in his car which is proving unpredictable to drive across a lap and even in a single corner.

“We are competitive in qualifying and once we come to race day we are struggling like crazy,” Leclerc told Sky Sports F1.

“The window of our car is so narrow and whenever you get a little bit out it has huge consequences on the balance.

“It’s from one corner to the other. Even in one corner, you can have huge understeer which goes to huge oversteer and this is not ideal to have confidence in the car.

“We have a lot of work to do, we need to find something new. We are struggling in the race for a little bit of time now so we need to come up with solutions.

“Mercedes are quick, Aston is quick in the race, and the Alpine didn’t look too bad in the race. I cannot add anything more than we have a lot of work to do and we need to find something.”

While Leclerc had failed to get past Kevin Haas while running medium tyres in the opening laps, team-mate Sainz had looked more competitive as he hassled Fernando Alonso during his opening stint.

Ferrari pitted Sainz before Alonso in an attempt to undercut the Aston Martin. While that initially proved successful, Alonso managed to pass his compatriot again within two laps and Sainz was never able to threaten the podium positions again on the hard tyres, eventually finishing 16 seconds back in fifth after also receiving a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Sainz said Ferrari needs to solve the inconsistency plaguing their car as the current lack of understanding gives them limited flexibility on race strategies.

He toldĀ Sky Sports F1: “I think we are in the middle of a learning process. This weekend will help us a lot to understand why again we can fight for the pole on Saturday, do a very good stint on the medium and push Fernando on the mediums and suddenly put the hard on, do three or four laps pushing the tyres to try and undercut and then this means the next stint you are going to finish 20 seconds behind a car that we were quicker than on the mediums.

“We need to understand why. It’s at the moment very puzzling and very difficult to understand these things.

“It’s a very inconsistent car, it’s very picky. You are driving properly on a limit, on a knife edge and this means in the race we pay the price.

“You have very little flexibility – you push one lap and are great, you go for an undercut the race is too long and it just means we cannot play around too much with our competitors in terms of strategy and level of pushing to want to overtake or undercut them. This leaves us with a lot of unknowns going into a race and a lot of things to learn because it’s not where we want to be.

“We will make sure that we take steps in the right direction. We will keep trying things.”

Ferrari ran an upgraded floor and diffuser in Miami but they did little to improve their Sunday competitiveness.

Team principal Fred is pressing to find answers as to why the SF-23 is behaving so differently between cars and tyres in the same race.

“Honestly we are a bit too inconsistent during the race. We had a good journey to the race but altogether it was not enough so it means we have to understand why we are so much up and down during the same race,” Vasseur said on Sky F1.

He later added: “Overall it was a tough weekend and a tough race because the pace was decent but we were not able to put everyone together and the race was quite similar. The first stint went pretty well for Carlos, he lost a couple of seconds in one-third of the race and then lost 25 seconds in the last two-thirds.

“We were far too inconsistent from one car to the other and from one lap to the other. We have to understand why.

“At some stages of the race, we were OK-ish. In the first stint with mediums for Carlos, we lost five seconds in 18 laps and this stage of the race was OK for us, and for Charles, it was the opposite.

“He was in good shape at some stages of the second stint on hards as he was struggling much more in the first part of the race (on mediums). We need to focus attention on this because that is key for us. That is where we need to do a step. For Charles, we had much more performance on the hards, and with Carlos, much more performance on the medium – and even with the same tyres from one lap to the other, we are a bit inconsistent.”