Leclerc had ‘really good feeling’ in Friday practice
By Mat Coch
Saturday 17th June, 2023 - 10:17pm
Charles Leclerc cut a positive figure following the opening day of running for the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver ended the day with the fifth fastest time and, encouragingly, in a good mood.
“In terms of feeling, it’s among the good Fridays for us,” he enthused.
“Really, really good feeling with the car, so that’s a positive.
“Tomorrow will be a completely new day and honestly, I don’t think there’s much that we can bring from today to tomorrow as it’s going to rain, probably,” he added.
“It’s going to be interesting, but it’s been a positive Friday.”
Leclerc headed into the weekend after a confused outing in Spain, where he suffered an unknown problem during Qualifying.
That left him struggling to turn left, a point Ferrari could see on the data, and opted to replace the rear end of his car to remedy the situation.
While that resolved matters for the race, a subsequent inspection in Maranello failed to offer an answer.
Ferrari introduced a raft of upgrades in Spain, specifically a new floor and engine cover, aimed at helping improve the car’s consistency.
While the performance in Spain failed to show that clearly, team boss Fred Vasseur suggested it had done what was hoped of it.
Encouragingly, Leclerc suggested much the same following Friday’s running in Montreal.
“We didn’t do any significant change,” he said of the difference since Spain.
“We are obviously learning this package more and more, so we are optimising it.
“And it was a good day because everything we’ve done to the car went in the right direction, so that’s good.”
Even more promising was the long-run pace, which Leclerc felt had also improved.
“Really good,” he said of his running on high fuel.
“That’s positive, but it’s only Friday.
“We need to wait and see, but the feeling was good, pace looked really good.
“Now we just need to have a clean qualifying tomorrow in very tricky conditions and then see what’s possible on Sunday.”
The rain, which hit the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve late during Free Practice 2, is expected to remain throughout Saturday before clearing for the race on Sunday.