Following a collision in the first lap between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, the two drivers were forced to withdraw from the race due to the damage suffered by their cars.
And although Leclerc’s magical behavior last weekend at the Austrian GP earned the Italian team a second place, the withdrawal from Sunday aggravated a difficult start to the season.
After its cars struggled to gain speed during qualifying for the Austrian GP, Ferrari accelerated the upgrades to its cars, which were originally scheduled for July 19, in hopes of improving his chances.
But after seeing his cars fight for speed for the second consecutive weekend, Ferrari team director Mattia Binotto said the team must “change that.”
“A really disappointing day,” he said after qualifying for the GP of Styria. “We have to accept that the clock never lies. In two qualifying sessions, although under different conditions, we have not been competitive, not only against those who have been our closest rivals in recent years, but also against others, who until yesterday were generally behind us. “
“We worked very hard to bring updates to the car earlier than expected, but they did not show their value on track.”
READ: “I was 25 years ahead of my time”: the driver who broke the color barrier of motorsport
“Apologies are not enough”
In the pouring rain during qualifying, while Lewis Hamilton drove masterfully to gain pole position – which he converted into a nearly 14-second victory in Sunday’s GP – the Ferrari drivers struggled.
Despite modifications to the SF1000 car – which Vettel said was like a “different car” – Vettel and Leclerc finished 10th and 11th respectively, which means that Ferrari had no one inside the first six places on the starting grid for the second straight week.
The incident between Vettel and Leclerc took place in the third round of the first round, while Leclerc was trying to pass in front of his teammate inside, only for the German to close the gap and establish contact.
Vettel’s rear wing was barely held in place by wire and Leclerc’s front wing and floor were severely damaged, which means that the two cars hobbled to the pits.
But after having suffered so much damage, Vettel was forced to withdraw immediately, Leclerc having only been able to complete three additional turns before also withdrawing. Leclerc apologized to Vettel after the race.
“Obviously, an apology is not enough at times like this,” said Leclerc. “I’m just disappointed with myself. I did a really bad job today. I dropped the team.
“I can only be sorry, even if I know it is not enough. I hope I learn from this and we will come back stronger for the next races.”
Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features and videos
This is the second time the two have faced each other on the circuit, the duo withdrawing with only six laps to go after hitting the Brazilian GP in 2019. After this collision, the two drivers apologized.
The 2020 season continues next weekend with the Hungarian GP.