Ferrari are back | Monaco Grand Prix debrief

31-05-2021 19:12

The Monaco Grand Prix provided a fascinating weekend. Max Verstappen left the principality with his second win of the season but it could have been a very different story had Charles Leclerc started the race. The Ferrari driver’s home race nightmare continued as he was hit by a gear box issue after crashing on Saturday but in today’s debrief we are going to take a look at why Ferrari are on the way back and why they can take positives from this weekend. 

The race

So let's recap the race. With the nature of the Monaco circuit it was always likely to be a close fought weekend and we were almost expecting to see a team to maybe make a mark on the Red Bull Mercedes dominance. And it became quickly apparent that Ferrari were going to show their potential this season after a difficult period over the last 18 months. Leclerc and Sainz were the mainstays in practice making up two of the top three on 5 out of six chances.

Into qualifying and Leclerc was emphatic. He topped Q2 and Q3 securing pole, but on his last lap he crashed into the wall stopping any chance of his rivals taking top spot but cast doubts over his race. Sainz managed to qualify a respectable fourth but he felt he was in with a shot at pole, which emphasizes the Ferrari ambition last weekend, that their second driver was feeling that confident.

Onto the race and Ferrari initially shrugged off any concerns with Leclecrc’s gearbox but then disaster struck, the left-hand drive shaft failed and Ferrari weren’t able to salvage it and Leclerc was forced to pull out of the race before it had even begun. When Bottas was forced to retire after another howler of a pit stop Carlos Sainz was safe to secure P2 and a very much deserved podium for him, and the Scuderia who have really struggled over the last year or so. Sainz was never really a concern for Verstappen who won the race but he’ll be glad to have that monkey off his back following his move from McLaren.

The biggest name on the grid

Ferrari are the biggest name on the grid so it was only a matter of time before they were serious contenders again. When you have a driver as talented as Charles Leclerc you are always going to have a chance, it is a similar situation to Verstappen at Red Bull. But what Ferrari showed this weekend was that Ferrari had a package that was good enough to compete with their rivals , albeit on a track that requires such a unique package. Ferrari’s car is perfectly hooked up for slow corners, they looked really good during the last sector in Barcelona with the chicane, so maybe it shouldn’t have been a surprise to see them doing so well. 

Carlos Sainz

Now I want to move on to Carlos Sainz, the Spaniard sort of had a free hit this year with Ferrari’s expectations given their results over the last year but his form will be a huge boost. It wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Sainz have a hard time given the pressure of the Scuderia and how difficult Vettel found it last year, but it will be a massive bonus to see he is a capable second driver who is more than able to support Leclerc. The podium will do wonders for his confidence and will be a massive relief for Ferrari who it is fair to say took a risk when signing him.

Charles Leclerc

As for Leclerc, he’ll bounce back. He’s so enormously talented and is touted as a future world champion and is already a superstar. When he crashed there in 2019 he bounced back to win twice that year so we don’t have to worry about his resolve. And as Ferrari improves so will he, and now the rest of the grid might have to watch out because he will be hungrier than ever for success.

Despite their main man’s disappointment Ferrari can take ths weekend and really build on it, they have a platform to compete and now they know where their strengths lie, they can use it to have more weekend’s like this one and it is great to see them back.

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