Ferrari extend lead over McLaren in constructor's championship despite drivers' struggles in Qatar

McLaren only scored two points, allowing Ferrari to maintain their third-place position in the constructors' championship.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/ Scuderia Ferrari)

On Sunday, both Ferrari drivers were relieved for different reasons, as they extended their lead over McLaren but failed to finish in the top six. Carlos Sainz started fifth on medium tyres but fell to seventh on the first lap and then to eighth when Sergio Perez climbed through the field. Given the tyre wear levels, attempting a one-stop strategy was risky, and Sainz had a moment of panic when he missed the team’s call to make his pit stop, but he carefully managed his pace to finish seventh, ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc in eighth.

“We need to review what happened there with the radio because I didn’t hear the box call and maybe we lost out a bit by that call,” Sainz said. “But it’s been a bit of a boring race for me because we were very concerned about the tyres and I was saving tyres all race, thinking about that front left that was giving so many headaches to other teams.”

“In the end maybe that approach paid off because the others did mistakes, but from my side I couldn’t push really in the whole race and it was a bit of a boring one. But it is what it is, we will try to push more in the next ones to see if we can enjoy them a bit more,” he added.

“In the end it was a solid day in terms of team. In terms of driver it could have been a bit better for sure, but I must say that the start wasn’t easy with the medium against the softs, and then we were so concerned about the tyre life that we had to drive conservatively but it is what it is and in the end it paid off,” the Spaniard concluded.


McLaren only scored two points, allowing Ferrari to maintain their third-place position in the constructors’ championship. While Sainz was relieved that the radio issue didn’t cost him the battle, Leclerc was more relieved to discover that a chassis defect discovered on Saturday was the root cause of his qualifying struggles.

“I’m satisfied with today,” Leclerc said. “Obviously when you look at the position it’s nothing special but if you look at the pace in free air in the second stint it’s very positive and we were very strong. It’s a track where it is quite difficult to overtake – especially when you are on the same strategy as the guys in front. So whenever I was in free air I could show my true pace.”

“And I’m quite happy to see that the pace is back after the change of chassis because yesterday was a bit worrying to see so much lack of pace and obviously when you see a chassis is damaged you never know how much is in the chassis damage or whatever, so to find the pace back after that change feels good,” the Frenchman added.

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