Charles Leclerc sends warning over lack of Ferrari upgrades

Despite Ferrari’s recent success away from Formula 1, Charles Leclerc believes the iconic team is still off the pace in Canada.

During the Formula One off weekend, Charles Leclerc took the opportunity to attend his first 24 Hours of Le Mans, witnessing Ferrari’s triumphant return to victory in the iconic endurance race after a 60-year drought. 

The celebration was a stark contrast to Ferrari’s lacklustre performance in Formula One this season, which Leclerc anticipates will continue at the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix.

Leclerc acknowledged that Ferrari is currently trailing behind Red Bull, who have dominated this season with seven consecutive wins. 

While he can accept this reality, what frustrates him is the team’s inability to identify and address their underlying issues.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

In the recent Spanish Grand Prix, Leclerc faced handling problems that prevented him from advancing beyond the first round of qualifying. 

Despite significant changes to the rear end of his car before the race, he managed to climb from 19th to 11th during the race. 

However, the lack of understanding regarding the difficulties encountered in Spain leaves Leclerc concerned.

“Qualifying in Barcelona was a very unusual experience, and it seems many drivers struggled,” he said.

Article continues below

“We need to uncover the reasons behind this, but as of now, we don’t have any answers.

“This is quite worrisome because the feeling was really bad.”

Assessing Ferrari’s potential performance in Montreal proved challenging during Friday’s practice session, as technical issues forced a halt after only 13 drivers took to the track. 

The malfunctioning cameras around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve lost connectivity to race control, resulting in an unexpected interruption. 

Although the second practice was extended by 30 minutes in the afternoon, rain would further disrupt the session.

With just one podium finish this season, Ferrari currently sits fourth in the constructors’ championship, trailing Red Bull by a substantial 187 points. 

Leclerc himself is positioned in seventh in the drivers’ championship. These disappointing results deviate greatly from Ferrari’s aspirations to dethrone Red Bull and Max Verstappen’s consecutive championship reign.

“Overall, the entire team is dissatisfied with our current performance on the track, which falls far short of our expectations at the beginning of the season,” Leclerc admitted. 

“Moving forward, we must continue to push, introduce upgrades as quickly and consistently as possible to narrow the gap with the frontrunners and improve our race pace.”

Although Ferrari implemented upgrades on the SF23 in Spain without yielding desired results, Leclerc hopes that Montreal’s circuit will be better suited to their car. 

However, he does not anticipate an immediate turnaround in fortunes.

READ: Max Verstappen ahead of 2023 Canadian GP: ‘I really don’t care about those things’

“We don’t have any new additions to the car for this track, so I don’t believe we will witness any miracles,” Leclerc noted. 

“But we must strive to optimize our package, enhance our understanding of it, and fine-tune the car’s setup to maximize its potential. 

“We have learned valuable lessons, and I’m confident we will be in a better position this weekend, although I don’t expect a significant leap forward.”