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Ferrari facing a long road ahead after weekend to forget, says Brawn


Vettel and Leclerc were early retirements at the Red Bull Ring.

Ross Brawn says troubled Ferrari have a "long road" back to becoming a major Formula 1® force after they endured a nightmare Styrian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were early retirements at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday after the Scuderia duo collided on the opening lap.

Leclerc apologised after he attempted to go down the inside of his team-mate at turn three but bounced up off the kerb, leading to his left rear wheel damaging the German's rear wing.

Ferrari fast-tracked front wing and rear diffuser upgrades onto both cars, but they could only qualify in 10th and 11th before things went from bad to worse in Spielberg.

Leclerc was second in the first race at the same circuit the previous weekend, but Formula 1® managing director Brawn says there will be no quick fix for the Italian team.

He wrote in his column on the F1® website: "The Styrian Grand Prix was another sensational racing spectacle with battles throughout the field – but it was a race weekend to forget for Ferrari, with their drivers committing a cardinal sin by colliding and forcing both cars out of the race in the opening laps.

"As a team boss, you never want to see that happen, but this will hurt Ferrari even more given they had worked hard to bring their upgraded aerodynamic package to Austria a week ahead of schedule – and the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc has robbed them of a chance to analyse the new package.

"Charles was very good in accepting the blame for the accident but it doesn't help. That said, it’s sport and these things can happen – and now it looks like the engineers back at the factory have a lot of work to do.

"One of the biggest problems for Ferrari is that of all the teams on the grid, they come under the closest scrutiny from the media, particularly in Italy.

"I know from my own experience that the media pressure in Italy can be incredibly intense, and you have to make sure it doesn't get to your people.

"The management have to cope with it and make sure the staff maintain the faith and stay focused on what needs to be done.

"They aren't going to turn it around overnight, and there's a long road ahead of them. They need to find out if there is a fundamental problem with the car – and they need to find out fast – because clearly they are some way off the pace."