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Leclerc's Struggles Ferrari's F1 Strategy Falters

Ferrari’s Strategy Woes: Leclerc’s Nightmare Continues

09/07/2024

Ferrari’s recent performances have plunged Charles Leclerc into a nightmare, with failed strategies and ineffective upgrades causing frustration.

Charles Leclerc encountered a series of disasters at the last British Grand Prix.

In qualifying, the Monegasque was already out in Q2, on merit. But in the race, after lap 13, once he had overtaken Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin F1, he was in 7th place, behind his teammate Carlos Sainz.

The problem was Ferrari completely botched Charles Leclerc’s strategy. The Ferrari driver was called into the pits on lap 19 to switch to intermediates.

Leclerc rejoined the track ahead of Valtteri Bottas’s Stake… but since the intermediates were not yet suitable for the conditions, the Monegasque lost huge chunks of time per lap.

When the rain finally fell persistently, Charles Leclerc had already lost… more than a minute, and any hope of a top 10 finish was already buried.

Charles Leclerc even had to stop a second time in the rain to switch to new intermediates, as the previous ones were already out of service.

“It was clearly the wrong strategy,” sighed the Ferrari driver after the race.

But he admits he made a mistake too…

“I’m going to look at it in more detail. Obviously, with the message I received and the information I had in the car, I felt it was the right decision to make…”

“It was a mix [of responsibilities] between me and the team. It’s the feeling I had, plus the information I received, and we surely got it wrong, but I’ll think about it because it’s too often that I’m on the wrong side in these conditions.”

“It was raining a lot in Turn 15. I was told that in this lap, the rain would be very strong, so I stopped to try to anticipate. So, we went for an aggressive strategy that didn’t pay off.”

“However, the rain came eight or nine laps later, so we destroyed the intermediates, which meant we had to stop again. It was obviously the end of our race from that moment.”

Ferrari falling behind the other three top teams?

Ferrari got the strategy completely wrong, but there might be a more concerning long-term issue: in terms of pure performance, the Scuderia is the fourth fastest team, quite far behind the Red Bull-McLaren-Mercedes trio.

“Very frustrating, another weekend to forget, and it’s starting to be too many,” admits Charles Leclerc.

“This period is very difficult. I don’t really have the words to explain it, but it’s been four races that are worse than a nightmare. I hope we can come back soon.”

“It’s really hard to see the positives on days like this. I just want us to analyze how we make these decisions on my side, and why we were on the wrong side.”

Ferrari is worried about the rest of the season, having abandoned the Barcelona upgrades. The red car is thus the same as the one at Imola. In F1, if you don’t move forward, you move backward…

“It’s a delicate situation we’re in right now. The upgrades gave us the numbers we expected, but they also brought a lot of bouncing in high-speed corners.”

“For a circuit like this, we decided it was better to have a bit less performance but more consistency, and I think it was the right choice.”

“For the future, we will analyze all the data we’ve had so far with the two packages and try to understand if there is something we haven’t grasped yet.”

“The bouncing was better, so the car’s consistency was better.”

Ferrari's Strategy Woes Leclerc's Nightmare Continues

Leclerc’s Struggles: Ferrari’s F1 Strategy Falters Leclerc’s Struggles: Ferrari’s F1 Strategy Falters

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