Laurent Mekies, Ferrari’s Sporting Director, has sought for some optimism saying that their aero setup has a wet race in mind.
“Thanks to a lot of hard work from everyone, today was better than yesterday, but it was not enough to fight with our usual competitors. We also went for an aero setup aimed at tomorrow’s race, when the rain could be a factor.” said Mekies on Saturday afternoon.
Tomorrow we will do all we can and then work on finding out why we never managed to get our package working properly, right from the first free practice session.”
Ferrari have had a very poor 2020 season but Spa is proving to be a nadir. Sebastian Vettel finished bottom of the timesheets in FP3, a feat Ferrari have not achieved since 2009 after Felipe Massa’s accident in Hungary.
Mekies summarised the day: “[It was a] very difficult qualifying with neither driver making it to Q3. This follows on from an even more difficult Friday, when we never managed to get the tyres to work properly.
“With very little grip, Charles [Leclerc], Sebastian and the team did what they could, turning the setup on its head to try and at least to get back to the performance level we had seen in previous races.”
Vettel, who starts 14th was circumspect about Ferrari’s prospects: “We need to stay strong and keep doing what we are doing as we knew this would be a tough weekend for us.
“We lose quite a bit on the straights and this circuit has a lot of straights. We are also struggling to get the tyres working properly. However the race is long so you never know what might happen.
“In the end I think today’s result reflects our real level on a track like this. We are ready to do battle tomorrow, I don’t think the rain can change a lot but for sure we will be trying anything, also on strategy, to bring home some points.”
Leclerc improved massively in-between his Q2 runs finding nine tenths on his second attempt. He will start 13th: “I think my final was ok and that P13 and P14 was the best we could do today. We managed to improve the car balance since yesterday, but unfortunately we didn’t find the performance we were hoping for there.
“The race will be tough but I’m always optimistic. Hopefully, with a strong start, the right strategy, and good tyre management, we will be able to fight for some points.
“These are tough times for all of us, including everyone who is supporting us watching from home, and I will give my all to bring home the best possible result tomorrow for them. It’s important for everyone in our team to keep their heads up and stay motivated. Together we will work hard to find the cause of the issue we are having and address it.”