Charles Leclerc handed three-place Styrian GP penalty for impeding
Grid drop caps another disappointing qualy for Ferrari; "We have to work out why and change this state of affairs, which is just not good enough for a team by the name of Ferrari," says team boss Binotto
By James Galloway and Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 11/07/20 9:22pm
Charles Leclerc will drop three places from his already-disappointing grid slot at the Styrian GP for blocking Daniil Kvyat in qualifying.
The Ferrari driver had dropped out in Q2 in 11th place but will now start 14th. Team-mate Sebastian Vettel had fared little better in 10th amid the SF1000's continued struggle for pace.
Williams' George Russell now takes over at the head of the sixth row to further-improve the Englishman's best-ever qualifying position in F1. Lance Stroll and Kvyat himself also gain a place at Leclerc's expense.
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After a post-race investigation, a stewards' statement on Leclerc read: "The driver of Car 16 had been adequately informed by the team after turn 7 that Car 26 [Kvyat] would be approaching and that he should watch out for traffic.
"Following this, he accelerated on the approach to turn 9, but eventually slowed down again after spotting another car in front of him in turn 9 in order to prevent having his following lap affected.
"Furthermore, the driver of Car 16 stated that it would have been impossible for him to see anything in his rear view mirrors due to the bad weather conditions.
"Video evidence and telemetry data clearly showed that the driver of Car 26 was impeded by Car 16 in turns 9 and 10.
"Although the weather conditions might have affected the visibility in the rear view mirrors and the driver had no intention of impeding another car, the Stewards determine that the driver of Car 16 must have been aware of Car 26 approaching, could have reacted differently and therefore impose the above mentioned penalty."
The revised provisional Styrian GP grid
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
3. Carlos Sainz, McLaren
4. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
5. Esteban Ocon, Renault
6. Alex Albon, Red Bull
7. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
8. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
9. Lando Norris, McLaren*
10. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
11. George Russell, Williams
12. Lance Stroll, Racing Point
13. Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri
14. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari*
15. Kevin Magnussen, Haas
16. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
17. Sergio Perez, Racing Point
18. Nicholas Latifi, Williams
19. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
20. Romain Grosjean, Haas
*three-place grid penalties
'We have to accept that the stopwatch doesn't ever lie'
Discounting grid penalties, Ferrari have failed to qualify higher than seventh in two attempts at the Red Bull Ring over the past eight days - despite the two sessions taking place in completely different conditions.
Leclerc's Q2 exit in the wet this week followed team-mate Sebastian Vettel's at the same stage in the dry last Saturday.
Ferrari brought forward updates to the SF1000 for this weekend but team boss Mattia Binotto admitted on Saturday night: "We worked very hard to bring updates to the car earlier than planned, but they didn't show their worth on track.
"We have to work out why and change this state of affairs, which is just not good enough for a team by the name of Ferrari. We mustn't get het up about it, but we cannot ignore the facts."
The verdict from Ferrari's drivers and the Sky F1 pundits
Leclerc: "I think the main problem today was we were just not quick enough. There was not a lot to do. We were 1.8s off and however we look at it we are just too slow at the moment. We need to work."
Vettel: "Honestly, yes [I expected more]. It was a difficult session for us, we struggled to get the tyres to work and now we need to have a good look and see why. Not ideal. We need to make sure we learn the maximum we can from this session and take it into the next wet session. Tomorrow should be dry and we'll try everything we can tomorrow."
Paul Di Resta: "I'm not sure how getting creative is going to help Ferrari to be honest, it's just slow. That upgrade has definitely not brought them any speed. They were slow in the dry yesterday and they're never that quick in the wet for some reason. Even with that extra downforce, it's not going into the lap time. These guys are going to get very frustrated and I think you can see that in Leclerc and his messages to the team during qualifying."
Jenson Button: "It's been a long time since we've seen both Ferraris this far back in qualifying. It's not just Ferrari as a whole as a team, or as a manufacturer, it's the whole of Italy watching this thinking why are these Ferraris not where we expect them to be. It's so much pressure at Maranello and they're going to hope there's an easy fix at Hungary, but I don't think there is one."
The new Formula 1 season is underway in dramatic style on Sky Sports F1 and continues this week with the second race at the Red Bull Ring - the Styrian GP. Find out more & subscribe.