F1 British GP live updates: George Russell on pole for today’s race at Silverstone

The dejected “pfft” from Charles Leclerc in response to the first question about his Q2 exit at Silverstone said it all. Yes, conditions were difficult, and it had been a tricky session to get completely right. But that wasn’t why he’d ended up 11th. “We are just struggling a lot at the moment,” Leclerc said.

Since Leclerc’s victory in Monaco, Ferrari hasn’t looked like a team capable of challenging Red Bull like McLaren and Mercedes have in recent weeks. The team’s latest set of updates became a step back rather than a step forward, leading to a return of the old bouncing problem that was long thought cured.

Ferrari has made more evaluations across the British GP weekend, prompting both Leclerc and Sainz to return to the Imola-spec car – Ferrari won the next race in Monaco – ahead of Saturday’s running to make the car more consistent.

Leclerc admitted the team was “struggling to optimize” what performance the car did have as it made some adjustments to try and understand where things had gone wrong. “It will help us long term, what we’ve done yesterday,” Leclerc said. “However, I feel like we’re paying a little bit the price today of it.”

Teammate Carlos Sainz didn’t pay quite as high a price as Leclerc, making it through to Q3 and ending up seventh. He said it was “no surprise” the team was struggling so much at Silverstone given it is the “king of the high speed” tracks, making for a bleak outlook going into Sunday.

For Ferrari, the grand prix will be about damage limitation from a results perspective. The bigger benefits will come from learning what went wrong with the new updates and how it might get into a better window for the upcoming Hungary/Belgium double-header.

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