Ferrari struggle in qualifying: 'that's where we are'

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari.
© XPB 

Ferrari were expecting a tough battle in Austria at the first round of the 2020 season opener, but the situation ended up proving even worse than expected.

Sebastian Vettel failed to make it into the top ten in Q2 to allow him to progress to the final round. His team mate Charles Leclerc only just scraped into the pole shoot-out.

And overall, all six cars powered by Ferrari engines looked distinctly off the pace at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday afternoon.

Both Alfa Romeos and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen failed to make it out of Q1, while Romain Grosjean was slowest of anyone in Q2.

“Of course it’s a surprise,” Vettel admitted when interviewed after he was eliminated from qualifying.

“We thought we had a little bit more in hand," he continued. "But it looks like the others were probably running a bit more fuel and more conservative in practice.”

"I wasn’t quite happy with the car," he said, adding that it had "more oversteer on entry than I would like."

Vettel - who will leave the team at the end of 2020 - will start the race from 11th place on the grid, and still hopes to salvage something from the situation.

“We’ll see, but I think tomorrow is a different picture. I think maybe with the track getting a bit hotter it was a bit more costly for us today.

“It’s a long race so I think in race trim we’re always better and I think we’ll be there to make up some ground and score some good points.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF1000.

Even though Leclerc made it through to the final round, he ended up almost a full second off the pole time set by Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.

"For now it's not an easy qualifying for us," he said. "Unfortunately that's where we are at the moment.

"But we need to stay positive in this moment, that is very hard to find any positives.

"This is the way forward, to work properly and to try and get out of these hard times," he said. "Yes, it's difficult, but we need to work as a team.

"Hopefully we can be as strong as possible tomorrow and show everybody up!"

The team is banking on a series of upgrades to the SF1000 in time for the Hungarian Grand Prix in two weeks time.

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