Leclerc: Ferrari pushing like never before
By Mat Coch
Monday 3rd July, 2023 - 3:03am
According to Charles Leclerc, who finished second in the Austrian Grand Prix, Ferrari is making inroads with its car.
It marked Leclerc’s best result of the 2023 season and only his second podium from the opening nine rounds.
Excessive tyre degradation has been the core issue for Ferrari which has been working to make its car more predictable.
Speaking after the Spanish Grand Prix, in which Leclerc finished ninth, team boss Fred Vasseur claimed the team had made progress thanks to upgrades introduced that weekend.
That statement was seemingly underscored at the Canadian Grand Prix, where the Prancing Horse pair finished fourth and fifth, Leclerc ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz.
It was a promising result, but one the team took with a grain of salt given it benefitted from an aggressive strategy on a low tyre degradation circuit.
Leclerc’s second in Austria, supported by Sainz coming home fourth, is another sign of progress.
“It feels good to be back on the podium, especially after what was a very difficult day yesterday,” the Monegasque driver said.
“I had a really good feeling in the car on Friday. I think with the new upgrades, the feeling is getting there.
“We were really waiting for this race in order to confirm the good feelings we had on Friday, and it worked out.
“I mean, [it’s] no secret we need to work still extremely hard to catch up Red Bull that are still quite a lot faster come race day.
“But the feeling is better and the team is pushing like I’ve never seen before in terms of bringing the upgrades much earlier than what was planned and this is great to see.”
Ferrari had a new front wing and floor in Austria, the former aimed at reducing “further aero structure losses and their impact downstream” according to its submission to the FIA. The floor worked in concert with the new front wing.
The car has not been transformed, however, and Leclerc warns its weaknesses remain.
“It is a very different track in Silverstone and it is going to be very interesting to see where we are,” he said of next weekend’s British Grand Prix.
“I feel like maybe the weakness of the car now is still a little bit the high-speed corners, and in Silverstone there are lots of high-speed.
“It will be good to see if this new package helps.”