Leclerc and Sainz Reveal Challenges with Ferrari’s F1-75
Ferrari’s F1 racers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz reveal their perplexity and limitations due to the 2023 car’s flaws. Hindered by inconsistency and wind sensitivity, the duo struggle to unleash their full potential during races, raising concerns and exposing the team’s challenges ahead.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have expressed their confusion and inability to exert full force during races due to the shortcomings of Ferrari’s 2023 Formula 1 vehicle.
After a collision in the qualifying round the previous day, Leclerc had an unremarkable race at the Miami Grand Prix, finishing seventh – only a week after starting in pole position and coming in third in Azerbaijan.
Sainz performed slightly better, starting from third on the grid and finishing fifth.
During another lackluster Sunday for Ferrari, Leclerc trailed Kevin Magnussen’s Haas for the first half of the race, had difficulty overtaking Pierre Gasly’s Alpine during the second phase, and – even after surpassing both aforementioned drivers – was overtaken by Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in the closing laps.
Leclerc lamented the “inconsistency” of the F1-75, referring not only to its varying performance but also to the car’s behavior from lap to lap and even within individual turns.
Leclerc stated, “I can experience significant oversteer and then substantial understeer, and our car is extremely sensitive to wind.”
Leclerc continued, “Apart from that, I didn’t experience this issue throughout the rest of the weekend, so we’ll need to examine the car. I encountered a lot of bottoming, particularly at high speeds, which I can’t quite account for since it didn’t happen yesterday or the day before.”
He observed that the car’s handling improved slightly once the graining on the hard tires lessened towards the end of the race, but this did not alter the pace and consistency issues severely hampering Ferrari.
Sainz echoed these sentiments, admitting, “Right now, I can’t push the car to its limits.”
“Especially during the race, as soon as you push for one lap, you achieve a good, fast lap, and then the next lap you’re three-tenths of a second slower,” he explained.
“It indicates that we lack the flexibility to push or not push, and we just need to maintain a specific pace to reach the finish line.
“I’m surprised, as I thought our performance would be stronger, but this race revealed that we still have work to do.”
Once again, poor tire management played a significant role in Ferrari’s race, with both Leclerc and Sainz struggling to adapt from medium to hard compound tires during the second stint.
Leclerc mentioned, “When switching from one compound to another, we can never predict how the new compound will perform.”
“It’s always uncertain whether the car will respond well or if the tires will be in the right operating range.
“This makes it extremely difficult for a driver to build confidence and adjust their driving style, as the car behaves entirely differently when moving from one set of tires to another.”
Sainz expressed his surprise at how much more difficulty he faced in the second stint, during which he dropped out of contention for a podium finish, even after overtaking Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin with an earlier pit stop.
Additionally, Sainz received a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane but still managed to finish fifth, stating that he “had to stay within the limit for the remainder of the race if I wanted to make it to the end.”
Sainz further explained, “Given the wind conditions and our impact on tire wear, the hard stint just became too lengthy for us.” Leclerc indicated that addressing wind sensitivity will be a focus of upcoming upgrades, with new components expected to be introduced at the upcoming Imola race.
Leclerc concluded, “We’re struggling significantly more with this issue, so a lot of work is underway.”
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