Charles Leclerc opens up on 2024 Ferrari F1 car

Charles Leclerc has acknowledged the challenges he is facing at Ferrari, anticipating an exciting future in Formula 1.

Charles Leclerc has conveyed his excitement to embrace Ferrari’s forthcoming Formula 1 car, following a challenging weekend for the team at the Dutch Grand Prix. 

Leclerc’s remarks come in the wake of a difficult Zandvoort event where he and teammate Carlos Sainz grappled with the performance of the SF-23 on the wet-dry circuit.

Throughout the weekend, the SF-23 proved to be a formidable adversary, with multiple teams including Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Williams, and Aston Martin outpacing Ferrari in qualifying. 

Leclerc also encountered a significant setback when he crashed heavily during the same session. 

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The Head of Chassis at Ferrari, Enrico Cardile, attributed the team’s struggles to “aero characteristics” and acknowledged the need for a revolutionary development approach for the 2024 season.

Cardile explained, “Not a lot, but it will be very different, because developing this year’s car, we realised that some architectural choices we did were not right – it was constraining the development too much. 

“From there, next year’s car will not be an evolution of this year’s car like this year’s car has been compared to last year’s car, but it will be a brand-new car – different chassis with different design, different rear end to allow our aero [department] to better develop the car to achieve their targets.”

Describing the significance of the current season in understanding their challenges, Cardile emphasised, “For us, it is crystal clear what we did wrong with the car… 

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“The weaknesses [are] clear, it’s not a matter of understanding what we should do. 

“Now, for the future, it’s a matter of delivering a good product which will cope with the targets we have. 

“We are not in ‘nowhere land’, we know what we have to do. 

“It’s a matter of doing, it’s a matter of finding the right contents of the car, the right architecture of the car to achieve the target.”

In response to Cardile’s statements, Leclerc expressed his eagerness to transition to the next phase of the team’s journey, stating, “It’s great to hear that and obviously I can’t wait.” 

Leclerc acknowledged the challenges posed by the current car, particularly its difficulty to manoeuvre at the limit, leading to moments of unpredictability. 

Despite the present struggles, he remains focused on finishing the ongoing 2023 season on a strong note.

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Reflecting on the Dutch Grand Prix, Leclerc highlighted the challenges he faced, noting, “I think we are particularly struggling this weekend and even more so than what the balance would slow us down, just because we need to be so far off the limit. 

“As soon as you get close to the limit, you just really don’t know what’s going to happen. 

“That’s exactly what happened in my Q3 lap, so it’s a difficult situation.”