Ferrari has been struggling to win races after a dream start to the 2022 championship. Charles Leclerc won two races early in the season while Max Verstappen and Red Bull were struggling with their RB-18’s reliability. This allowed the Monegasque to take an early lead in the drivers’ championship. However, Red Bull came back strong as Verstappen won his fifth race of the season at the Azerbaijan GP. It was a nightmare Sunday for the Scuderia as both their drivers, Leclerc and Carloz Sainz, were forced to retire due to issues with their F1-75s. As a result, the two Red Bull drivers secured yet another double podium in Baku. Max finished first while Sergio Perez finished right behind him. This took Red Bull’s lead from Ferrari to 80 points in the constructors’ championship.
Ferrari started the weekend well, with Charles Leclerc securing the pole position on Saturday, and Sainz started fourth on the grid. Unfortunately, both the Red Bull drivers were out of the race with 20 laps still left. Carlos Sainz suffered an early blow from the fourth position during the ninth lap due to a hydraulic malfunction. Elsewhere, Sergio Perez took the pole position from Leclerc at Turn 1. But, a different strategy helped the Monegasque get close to Red Bulls due to a well-timed Virtual Safety Car.
Sadly, all chances of a fightback from the 24-year-old were spoiled when smoke began coming out from the rear of Charles’ car. He immediately returned to the pit and was left with no choice but to retire due to a power unit issue. Later, the two Ferrari drivers opened up about the incident. He gave a detailed view of the situation during Sunday’s race.
Leclerc & Sainz Frustrated By The Double Retirement
Talking after his retirement, Charles said that the unfortunate DNF hurt. Also, the team needed to ensure it did not happen again. Monegasque wanted Ferrari to look into the issue. When asked if the double retirement in Baku was a major blow, Leclerc shared that it was more than significant. The Ferrari driver felt disappointed and hoped that his team could jump back from the setback and get back on top of things.
Meanwhile, Sainz mentioned that he was looking to push after warming up the tyres. The Spanish driver was looking to push after the nine laps when his hydraulics went down, and he was out. Moreover, Carlos was more frustrated by Leclerc’s retirement with a different issue. The 27-year-old said that the team would go through different moments throughout the year, and Baku’s misfortune was one of them. He added, “This is one of the most difficult and frustrating. But we will try and make sure we recover from it.”
Further, Ferrari’s two customer cars also had a rough time at the track in Baku. Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen were forced to retire midway in the race. Now, the Italian racing team will have only a few days to find some more reliability as F1 moves to Montreal for the Canadian GP this weekend.