Leclerc battled inconsistent Ferrari in Miami GP
By Mat Coch
Monday 8th May, 2023 - 7:02pm
Charles Leclerc battled with an inconsistent Ferrari that changed balance from one lap to the next.
Leclerc crashed out of Qualifying 3 on Saturday to start seventh, finishing in the same position in Sunday’s race.
Though he progressed beyond Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly, who started ahead of him on the grid, he lost out to Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
“We were speaking just now with Carlos [Sainz]. What we are lacking is consistency on the car,” Leclerc explained.
“It’s not even from corner to corner, it’s just in the same corner.
“I can have a huge oversteer imbalance and then a huge understeer imbalance.”
Leclerc attributed it to the car’s sensitivity to the wind and revealed he also suffered bottoming issues during the race.
Those only arrived after Ferrari repaired his damaged SF-23 following his Qualifying crash.
“This is not something I have for the rest of the weekend,” he said.
“We’ll have to check the car but I had a lot of bottoming, especially in the high-speed, which is something I can’t quite explain because I didn’t have that yesterday.”
While Ferrari has enjoyed good single-lap pace in 2023, translating that into race pace has been difficult.
Tyre wear has been a factor, with exaggerated pace differences between compounds.
“In every single race, we are going from one compound to the other hand we never know what’s going to happen on the new compound,” Leclerc conceded.
“It’s always an unknown whether the car is going to react well, whether the tyres are going to be in the right window.
“This is just very difficult also as a driver to gain the confidence and to adapt your driving because you get from one set to the other and the car is completely in a different window.”
After starting third, Sainz dropped to fifth on an underwhelming Sunday for Ferrari.
It comes after promising performances in Azerbaijan, where Leclerc qualified on pole and scored the Italian operation’s first podium of the year.
Australia also showed positive signs with Sainz racing towards the front before a penalty relegated him out of the points.
That left Ferrari believing it had made progress heading into Miami.
“I think this is also part of consistency,” Leclerc reasoned.
“We sometimes feel like we’ve done a step forward and then you arrive in some very particular conditions.
“It’s warmer than the other races and now we are completely out of the right window of the tyre.
“We need to work on that.”
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