Starting from the pitlane in Barcelona following a 19th place qualifying finish, Leclerc was only able to maneuver his SF-23 to an 11th place finish. The car’s performance remained erratic throughout various stints, even on the same tire compound.
His teammate Carlos Sainz also faced challenges, dropping from a promising second place on the starting grid to a fifth-place finish.
“In our first stint, we were on the hard tires, which we anticipated to perform well. However, they were incredibly poor for some unknown reason,” Leclerc explained.
“Strangely, there was no grip at all, especially from the front. The constraints were vastly different from the qualifying round, which was more of what we expected today.
“On the second hard tire stint, despite doing exactly the same thing, the car felt significantly better. We seem to struggle to consistently hit the tire’s optimal performance window, and when we do, it comes as a surprise. Clearly, there’s a lot of work ahead of us.
“The primary area we should concentrate on is being at the optimal performance of our tires more frequently and managing them more effectively.
“A small shift of two or three degrees can drastically alter the balance, and we’ve been grappling with finding that sweet spot. So, this will be a key focus area for us,” said Leclerc, piloting the Ferrari SF-23.
Photo by: Zak Mauger / F1 Flow Images
Leclerc maintained that his approach remained the same in both stints, explaining, “We handled both tire sets in exactly the same manner.
“I plan to discuss with the team the differences we may be overlooking between the two tire sets. It’s an arduous task, especially considering the car’s sensitivity to wind changes.”
The inconsistencies in the car’s performance on tires make it harder to manage races, Leclerc explained. He detailed, “It’s not as simple as having understeer and declaring it an understeery car. I experience understeer on one set and then oversteer on the same hard tires.
“It’s these inconsistencies that make it so challenging to improve, especially when your approach remains the same for both sets.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ferrari Tire Performance
Why did Charles Leclerc start from the pitlane in Barcelona?
Leclerc started from the pitlane in Barcelona because he only managed to qualify in 19th place. As a result, the team decided to make some adjustments to his car before the race.
What was the main issue Leclerc and his team faced during the race?
The main issue they faced was related to tire performance. Leclerc’s Ferrari SF-23 demonstrated inconsistent performance even when using the same tire compound. This inconsistency, especially between different stints, posed significant challenges in the race.
What did Leclerc suggest as a way forward for the team?
Leclerc suggested that the team should focus on understanding and achieving the peak performance of their tires more often. They should also work on managing the tires better, given that small changes can have significant impacts on the car’s balance.
What did Leclerc say about the car’s sensitivity to wind changes?
Leclerc noted that slight changes in wind conditions resulted in significant changes to the car’s performance. This factor added to the challenges of managing the car’s performance during the race.
How did Carlos Sainz, Leclerc’s teammate, perform in the race?
Carlos Sainz, like Leclerc, also had a challenging race. He started second on the grid but slipped to a fifth-place finish by the end of the race.