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Ferrari's Carlos Sainz during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 12 2022. Picture: LEONHARD FOEGER/REUTERS
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan, June 12 2022. Picture: LEONHARD FOEGER/REUTERS

Formula One returns to Canada this weekend for the first time since 2019 with Red Bull on a roll and Ferrari needing a big response to the reliability problems that have hammered their title hopes.

No team has won as many times in Montreal as the Italians, but the season that began so brightly is turning sour.

Charles Leclerc has taken six poles in eight races, including the last four, but has retired in two of the past three with engine problems and now lags Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by 34 points after earlier leading by 46.

After finishing one-two last weekend in Azerbaijan, Red Bull lead Ferrari by 80 points and are going for their sixth successive win.

“We come back from Baku disappointed, from not having scored the amount of points we should have,” said Ferrari sporting director Inaki Rueda. “But we bring some positives. We have a very strong-performing car, [and] be it in qualifying or in the race we are capable of fighting in every possible scenario.

“Our reliability is a weak point ... and we will address this.”

Ferrari have found a “short-term fix” for the hydraulics issue that forced Carlos Sainz to retire in Baku but the engine remains under considerable scrutiny after customer teams Alfa Romeo and Haas also suffered retirements in Baku.

A turnaround at a circuit named after the team’s late great Gilles Villeneuve will at least provide some respite to all the “disaster” talk.

Reuters

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