Ferrari boss accuses Charles Leclerc of overcompensating

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur has highlighted the differing approaches of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Ferrari’s performance this season has fallen short of their initial hopes, with the Scuderia managing only two podium finishes thus far in 2023. 

The SF-23 car has proven to be a difficult beast to tame, and both Ferrari drivers have been handling its nuances in their own distinct ways. 

Team boss Frederic Vasseur recently compared his two drivers and shared his insights.

Vasseur acknowledged the exceptional abilities of Charles Leclerc, the Monegasque driver in the Ferrari stable. 

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He pointed to Leclerc’s remarkable pole position in Azerbaijan earlier this year, where he outpaced both Red Bull drivers in qualifying and was eight tenths faster than his teammate. “Sometimes he does things you don’t know where he gets them from. 

“Charles is a driver who is always thinking about winning. 

“Our car is behind Red Bull, but he is still trying to win,” Vasseur added.

However, Leclerc’s performances have not always yielded favourable outcomes. 

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Last year, he made a number of critical errors, and this season has seen a continuation of such mistakes. 

Vasseur noted, “In certain situations, we have seen him push too much, ‘overdriving.’ 

“He tries to compensate for shortcomings with strategy, with being aggressive, and with the risk of making mistakes. 

“My job is to guide him in the right direction.”

While Leclerc grapples with maintaining consistency, his teammate Carlos Sainz has showcased a more measured and reliable approach. 

Vasseur praised Sainz’s ability to perform consistently, stating, “Carlos is very consistent. 

“He can control his speed and does it a bit better than Charles. He isn’t ‘overdriving.’ 

“He doesn’t have the big peaks of Charles, when he takes pole positions, for example, but he then is very close. 

“In Miami, he was on pole until the last corner. He limits the big mistakes and is always there.”

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Vasseur’s comparison sheds light on the contrasting styles of the Ferrari drivers as they navigate the challenges posed by the SF-23 car. 

Leclerc’s penchant for exceptional performances comes with occasional errors stemming from his determination to compensate for any deficiencies. 

On the other hand, Sainz showcases a more consistent and measured approach, ensuring he remains consistently competitive.