Sunday afternoon it was frustrating at Sochi for Scuderia Ferrari.
Charles Leclerc finished 3rd, as Sebastian Vettel DNF’d because of a problem with a hybrid component of his racer’s Power Unit. And particularly annoying for the Italian team was what caused Mr. Leclerc to fall back behind the MercedesAMG of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, was the Virtual Safety Car period called to deal with Mr. Vettel’s disabled parked SF90 at the side of the track. During this frame the others were able to pit for tires, losing around half the time that it cost.
At the start, the team strategy worked: Mr. Leclerc had a great getaway from Pole and Seb was in his slipstream, which pulled him past Hamilton. The towing effect was so powerful that Mr Vettel went in the lead going into the 1st real at the track. Seb then started to push on at a cracking pace and pulled away from his team-mate, who was leaving the pack behind.
Mr. Leclerc was the 1st Ferrari to pit, coming in on Lap 22 and switching from Soft to Medium tires. Mr. Vettel pitted 4 laps later came. Then a problem suddenly occurred on the SF90 linked to the hybrid part of the Power Unit and he had to park the car at the side of the track. The Race Director called a Virtual Safety Car, which gave those who had not yet changed tyres the opportunity to do so, losing only half the time of a normal stop, as the MercedesAMG went from Mediums to Softs. This left Mr. Hamilton leading Messrs Leclerc and Bottas.
Over the last 21 Laps, Charles tried to attack Hamilton and Bottas, but the performance levels of the cars were so similar that, even with DRS, Mr. Leclerc engine heated up and he did not try an overtaking move, thus crossing the line third, five secs off Mr. Hamilton and under 1.5 secs and further behind Mr. Bottas.
Mr. Leclerc’s 3rd place is his 9th podium finish of the season, the team’s sixteenth. He picked up 15 points today, which puts him ahead of Max Verstappen in third place in the championship, with a total of 215. Scuderia Ferrari is still 2nd in the Constructors’, behind MercedesAMG and ahead of Red Bull Racing,
The next race the 17th of the season, takes place on 13 October in Japan.
Charles Leclerc #16
“It was a tricky race. I think that we had a good strategy to give us the best result as a team. At the start of the race, I gave Sebastian a tow so that we could race at the front and get ahead of our competitors together.
Then, after the safety car, things became a bit more complicated and we aimed to find the right timing to swap positions, which we did when Seb pitted. Unfortunately, there was an issue on Seb’s car and he had to end the race early. From that point on it just didn’t go our way anymore and it was not possible for me to overtake the 2 cars in front.
After we had such a strong weekend, ending the race with one car in P3 and the other retired is not the best feeling. But we are confident of our potential and will head into the next races with determination and give our all to bring home the best possible results.”
Sebastian Vettel #5
“Today, we are very disheartened. We wanted to finish first and second, but all we got was a third place. It’s not the result we were hoping for. I got a good start and the first stint was pretty quick which allowed me to open up quite a gap.
After the pit stop, I rejoined in second place but shortly afterwards the team asked me to stop the car because there was a problem with a hybrid component on my Power Unit. I hope the engine will be okay for the coming races.
It has definitely been not our day today.”
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
“We are disappointed because we did not do a perfect job today. To win, you need reliability and today we didn’t have it. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time this season that’s been the case.
Before the race, as always, we spoke with the drivers and we asked Charles to give Seb a tow, because that would be the best way for him to get ahead of Hamilton and for the 2 of them to be 1st and 2nd come the end of the opening lap. In fact, Seb got a fantastic start, which allowed him to pass Hamilton even before the entry to the corner.
Seb was very quick today and I am very happy with the way he drove. I have said it many times before, his strong point is the race and he proved that, running at a great pace. It was a real shame we had to tell him to stop. We asked him to park the car at that point for safety reasons, which obviously takes precedence over everything else.
It is not the result we were hoping for, but after today, we are even more prepared for the fight. Our car is strong, as is the team and we are ready to give our all in the coming races.”
Enzo Ferrari’s iconic Italian Supercar manufacturer claimed the title according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 2019 report launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
HeffX-LTN overall technical outlook for RACE is Neutral to Bearish, overhead resistance is at 154.43 and support at 151.00 as 1 Key indicator has begun flashing Very Bullish in here. Ferrari finished at 152.12, +0.64 Friday in NY.
Note: Goldman Sachs upgraded Ferrari to ‘buy‘ from ‘neutral ‘calling the stock’s pullback a good “entry point.” “We upgrade Ferrari from Neutral to Buy, offering 15% upside to our new price targets of 182. Our thesis, outlined in Life of Luxury published last month, is fundamentally unchanged post Ferrari’s in-line 2-Q results. We view the stock’s recent pullback since July 16 has provided good entry point in here.
Ferrari will continue to create value in the long term. Ferrari is a quality 1st long term investment, and I see it at 200/share in that frame
Have a terrific week