Laurent Mekiès (Ferrari): “A somewhat mixed result”

At the end of a contrasting weekend, the Frenchman, promoted to Ferrari competition director, admits his disappointment, but measures the progress made. Above all, he is delighted to see the Scuderia establish itself as the third force on the table.

Published on 12/06/2021 à 11:16

Pierre Tassel

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Laurent Mekiès (Ferrari): “A somewhat mixed result”

Laurent Mekiès, competition director of Scuderia Ferrari. © DPPI / A. Vincent

With two cars in the Top 10 (4th and 8th) and quite a few points up for grabs (14), isn't the result disappointing when you start from pole?

Despite Charles' (Leclerc. Editor's note) super pole, we knew that the Red Bull et Hamilton would quickly escape. If there is frustration, it comes more from the lost places on gasly at the time of the first stop, and on Hag during the re-start behind the Safety Car. It's disappointing, because our race pace wasn't bad. We are losing valuable points, it's a shame.

However, we take up four points to McLaren and occupy 3rd place in the Constructors' championship for the first time this season (94 points against 92 for McLaren. Editor's note). In the end, a somewhat mixed result since we managed to optimize the qualification, but not the race. There is still work to do, but we know where to look.

What made the Team has once again managed to do well in qualifying, like in Monaco?

In the Principality, it was clearly the configuration of the track that was favorable to us. We have a car that works well in slow corners, and you couldn't find a better spot. Baku promised to be a completely different story, because even if the route does not offer medium and fast turns, it is made up of long straights which require you to ride with little downforce.

On Friday we focused on making the car as comfortable as possible for the drivers, as it is important to have a high level of confidence on this type of track. We managed to give rhythm to the car without destroying this “comfort”. Charles and Carlos (Sainz. Editor's note) have done a magnificent job in managing to collect new thousandths every day.

So was pole position a surprise?

Total! The team made good progress all weekend, and although Charles and Carlos had very good pace, it was not good enough to claim pole. During this session disrupted by red flags in each session, I don't think anyone managed to put out a perfect lap.

It was first important to achieve a not too bad time to take the next stage. Charles finally takes pole with a significant margin which does not reflect our pace in the race. Carlos had the same one and it could have been him if he hadn't been forced to abort his attempt.

Can a solution be found to alleviate the problem the SF21 suffers from in fast and medium corners?

For the most part, you will have to make do. In a context of very reduced development, we are preparing to have to play with this equation all year round with circuits where we will be in attack and others in defense. That doesn't mean we're giving up.

We're trying to optimize what we have, to understand why it seems more comfortable in slow corners than its "little friends", to extract better balance from its other characteristics on other tracks. On the powertrain side, there are things which, I hope, will happen at the end of the year.

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