Charles Leclerc’s coach breaks silence on Ferrari upgrades

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both complained about the SF-23 being "inconsistent" during the Miami GP.

Charles Leclerc’s driver coach Jock Clear has revealed that Ferrari are trying to remove some of the SF-23’s “peakiness”, with the Maranello-based side identifying it as an area which will improve Leclerc’s and Carlos Sainz’s “confidence” in the car.

Last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix was another troubling round for Ferrari, who just can’t get to grips with their 2023 machinery.

The side entered the weekend with some hope, due to having installed a new floor upgrade for the Miami International Autodrome.

At first, the upgrade appeared to be working, until Leclerc put his car in the barrier at Turn 8 twice.

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

The second incident was considerably more dramatic, as he lost the rear at high-speed.

From that point onwards, Leclerc and Sainz continually complained about the car being “inconsistent” and that it offered them “zero flexibility”.

With that in mind, Clear stressed that the Italians are trying to make the car more predictable, something which is their “main focus” as things stand.

“It’s always a combination of both,” Clear said during a technical presentation last weekend.

Article continues below

“With a new aero package over the winter, we’ve taken a while to find the set-up.

“This floor contributes to getting the car in a better window, as the drivers were reporting earlier it is peaky.

“We need to get rid of some of that peakiness. That’s probably the main focus at the moment, to make the car a bit more benign so the drivers have a bit more confidence.”

More upgrades are expected to be installed by Ferrari at the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, a weekend they’ll be keen to perform at, given that it’s their home race.

Ferrari’s floor upgrade at Miami was the second time they’ve introduced an upgrade to it this season, with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix earlier in the year having also seen an updated design.

It’s clearly an area where all the teams believe time can be gained, especially in the new aerodynamic era of the sport.

Clear explained how the floor and its relationship with the rear wing and the tyres is absolutely critical in the current era of the sport, with the smallest of tweaks actually being “quite powerful”.

“The height of the floor relative to the ground is a huge influence on the whole package of downforce,” Clear said.

“You generate so much downforce on the floor and the rear wing, but they’re interconnected. So, that’s the area of most people’s development.

“The section just ahead of the rear wheel, where you’re controlling the flow that goes either outside the wheel or inside the wheel and therefore into the diffuser area.

“The changes are quite subtle… but actually, in aerodynamic terms, they’re quite powerful.

READ: George Russell dismisses ‘lack of effort’ accusation

“It’s just a response to the feedback we’ve had from the drivers through the first four races of the year in where the car is deficient.

“You can move the air around slightly… so give the driver a more consistent balance through medium-speed, high-speed, low-speed, and braking and entry and then exit.

“All those areas where the floor is moving around a lot, we can try and make the car a bit more benign. That makes it more predictable for the driver.”