Brawn: "Ferrari needs to improve this situation very quickly"


The Scuderia, F1's most successful team and Mercedes' main challengers in recent seasons, have been playing down expectations throughout the weekend as they await major upgrades on their auto, which hasn't been updated since a problematic pre-season testing back in February.

Brawn, who guided Michael Schumacher to five drivers' titles at Ferrari, is now Formula One's motorsport managing director and on Monday suggested that four-time champion Vettel is understandably distracted after being told this is his a year ago with the team.

"We actually don't even know the amount of races we are going to do", McLaren and future Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz Junior said.

Ahead of the race, the opening event of the 2020 season, drivers displayed T-shirts carrying the message "End Racism", which was also written on the start/finish line.

Why are Ferrari so slow?

While questions perhaps linger in Vettel's mind, onboard footage of the Scuderia driver on Sunday revealed an SF1000 that was clearly a handful, the vehicle snapping out of shape on multiple occasions around Spielberg's Red Bull Ring.

Ferrari lack straight line speed and the vehicle is slower than last year's which won three races.

With the coronavirus crisis resulting in F1 pushing back their radical rule changes for 2021 - meaning you will have few changes to the current cars for two seasons - Ferrari chose to alter their strategy again. That rethink meant its original batch of upgrades were scrapped in favour of more significant changes, which were not supposed to be ready for the Austria double header.

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"I struggled for the entire race, already after the first two laps, just as I had done in qualifying".

Sebastian Vettel: "Of course it's a surprise, we thought we had a little bit more in hand but it seems the others were probably running a little bit more fuel or were more conservative in practice". If the right opportunity should arise then I think it's quite clear. "The balance and speed I had on Friday just slipped away from us and I was really struggling to keep the auto on track".

After practice sessions at the Austrian GP's Red Bull Ring, Vettel said, "I think we had a decent day".

Leclerc said he was "extremely satisfied" with the result, but conceded that Ferrari has "still a lot of work to do" to trouble the dominant Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc: "It's not an easy qualifying for us". Unfortunately this is where we are at this time.

"We don't know [what was wrong] - we need to have a good look - but, for sure, the auto was very hard today".

"But I believe everyone has the right to express themself at a time and in a way that suits them".

Hamilton has since announced the setting up of a new commission to improve diversity in motorsport, while Formula 1 has launched the #WeRaceAsOne initiative, along with a new Task Force specifically focused at identifying the employment and education opportunities for under-represented groups across Formula 1.