Leclerc ‘not expecting miracles’ from Ferrari upgrades
By Mat Coch
Friday 2nd June, 2023 - 3:25pm
The upgrades Ferrari will fit for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix are aimed at making the car more drivable rather than faster, suggests Charles Leclerc.
While rapid over a single lap, the Ferrari has proved weaker over a longer run. That has typically seen both Ferrari drivers backwards during races.
According to Leclerc, that is because while the car is sensitive to change, making it “peaky” and not confidence inspiring.
It is that which the team hopes will be addressed by the upgrades set to debut in Spain this weekend.
“We are not expecting any big miracles,” the Monegasque opined.
“From now on, we want to try and bring some small upgrades every race. This one should go in the right direction, but I don’t think it will be a massive chance.
“At the moment, the thing is that we have an extremely peaky car that, in qualifying, on the one lap pace with new tyres, the wind, that we know exactly how to drive the car. It’s okay.
“As soon as we go a little bit out of those conditions, the car becomes… we lose so much downforce.
“So we have been working a lot of that with the new car.”
In the race, the issue has been manifested by increased tyre wear which leads to a performance drop versus rivals such as Aston Martin.
Carlos Sainz suggests that is less a reflection of the team underperforming on race day, but instead overperforming during qualifying.
“Our race pace this year has been a bit worse than our qualifying pace, then there’s always going to be doubts and criticism about our race execution, because of the pace of the car, going a bit backwards,” the Spaniard said.
“I think that makes this first six races a bit more difficult to assess and judge.
“I do feel the team is doing everything they can and we can to be as strong as possible on that department,” he added in reference to the team’s strategy calls in particular.
“Like always in everything in every aspect there’s margin of improvement and we’re doing it.”
As far as getting on top of improving the car’s race pace, Leclerc hopes the improvements brought to Spain will see it inch in the right direction.
“With this week’s upgrade, we should have a better understanding I hope,” he said.
“For quite a long time we didn’t really know from where it was coming from.
“It’s really good to have these new upgrades here and to understand where are we and so we can confirm still our weaknesses,” he continued.
“I think in our mind, even though we’ve had very different tracks, it’s very clear for us where we need to work, and that is mostly on race pace, and having a car that is a bit easier to drive.
“Now I think is the perfect track to see whether this upgrade will he’s going in the right direction.”