Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2019

Leclerc says Ferrari need more downforce and he’s hoping for rain

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc says rain is his best chance of being competitive on Saturday at the Hungaroring.


What they say

Obviously it was all about adapting to the conditions which were changing quite a lot. We’ll see tomorrow, hopefully it will rain.

On my side I’m not very happy at the moment in terms of balance of the car so I need to work quite a lot on that. I think wet I was in better shape. Overall I think we are struggling a bit with the downforce level we have. It’s a track where we need a lot of downforce. We knew it would be a difficult track for us so we need to work and try to improve for tomorrow.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Ben disagrees with Max Verstappen’s claim that Lewis Hamilton hasn’t had “big pressure” from any of his team mates:

People can throw a lot of criticism at Lewis Hamilton, but this one doesn’t stick for me. His team-mate list reads Alonso, Kovalainen, Button, Rosberg, Bottas. Three of those are world champions and the other two are race winners. Granted, Kovalainen didn’t turn out as well as McLaren had hoped, but he was a genuine prospect when he joined in 2008. I’d argue that no driver on the current grid has had such a difficult list of team-mates to beat; with the exception of maybe Raikkonen, (but he didn’t compare too well against Vettel/Alonso) and Ricciardo.

Say what you like about Lewis Hamilton, but I really don’t think he cares who he has to beat in the car next to him.
Ben Needham (@Ben-n)

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  • 16 comments on “Leclerc says Ferrari need more downforce and he’s hoping for rain”

    1. If Ferrari are lacking downforce doesn’t make much sense to ask for rain.

      Plus if there is a department that Leclerc needs to improve or show his true abilities is in wet conditions

      1. I believe Leclerc is hoping for rain, because that would increase a possibility for an error from Mercedes and Red Bull. But rain means an increasing possibility for an error from Ferrari too. :) Anyway, Leclerc needs as much practice on wet tracks as possible to become even a better driver, so I can see why Leclerc would love a rain in qualifying – he has more to gain than to lose in those conditions.

      2. Maybe the do have good traction, which also helps in the rain @johnmilk and while at this track downforce is important enough that if you have too little, you are stuck, with rain that good traction (or just Leclerc feeling he can work with the car more confidently compared to others), and, as you say @bulgarian, some mistakes from competitors, that gives chances to do better.

      3. @johnmilk
        It depends where you get your downforce from. Cars that get most of it from their aero struggle in the rain, because it doesn’t work in the rain (lower speeds, different air flow).
        Just look at how Ferrari performed in the wet in the 90s. The car was nowhere in dry conditions, but as soon as it rained they were flying. Barcelona ’96 for example: Schumi had no chance against the Williams in qualifying, but on race day he was over 3(!!!) seconds a lap faster than his nearest competitors and the Williams cars were just sliding around, having no grip at all.

    2. Max is starting to sound a little bit obsessed.

      1. I think it’s about time for Max to play mind game against Lewis. Honda starting to match Ferrari and he obviously didn’t feel threaten by Seb.

      2. @david-br lol, read what Ham said yesterday and you’ll see why.

    3. Just the other day Max was saying how Hamilton never had a teammate who put pressure on him… now he’s saying one of those teammates could have won 8 titles.
      Ok then…

    4. Alonso was one of my favorite drivers, but if we are talking championships and being the greatest of a generation means you have to make sure you are in the best car at the right time. That is part of the equation and Alonso was one of the worst. Same goes for Max. The clock is ticking.

      1. And when he was in the best car-McLaren, he screwed up another WDC by letting a rookie get to him. So hardly a good example from Max. Iv’e no idea what game Max and his sugar daddy in theteam are playing; I see RB are being dismissive about Seb now when comparing him to Max, but it’s not coming across as mind games, more a spoilt child being overindulged by doting parents.

      2. There’s a difference between greatest driver and most successful driver.

    5. SparkyAMG (@)
      3rd August 2019, 6:28

      I wonder if Max has been advised to try and get under Lewis’ skin now that Red Bull are drawing near, or whether it’s just coming naturally to him.

      Either way, a couple of his comments this week have struck me as a bit unnecessary but they’re setting the tone for what could be an amazing rivalry over the next 18 months… one which could ultimately be the difference between Lewis matching Schumacher’s records or not.

    6. If Max feels Alonso is the best then why not convince your team to take him to replace Gasly. Alonso is looking for a race winning car and would happily accept.
      Now Max senses he can be a challenger for the World Championship he has started playing mind games with Lewis.

      As for Alonso winning 7 or 8 championships….dont know about that

      But Lewis missed out on 2007 championship by 1 point in his rookie season and 2016 by 5 points after suffering lot of mechanical failures. So Lewis easily could have been 7 time world champion right now and going for his record breaking 8th.

      To be a fast Redbull driver is great but only till next Redbull super driver comes along. Before it was Vettel then Ric and now Max. Let’s see for how long it continues.

    7. Appreciate Andy’s engineering chops. Also impressed how he can make 4 minutes seem like an hour. ;-)

      Still… very impressive bat…ers… energy storage. 20 kilos for 200kW is pretty amazing. Put a couple of those packs in a small hot hatch and you’d have a great little beater that only costs a few million to build.

      1. well put @jimmi-cynic, LOL (with full agreement) at both parts of your post.

    8. Maybe Max reads the F1Metrics blog, after correcting for car limitations, this mathematical model claims that Alonso happened to be the standout performer way more times (even more than 7-8 until 2014) than the number of titles he earned:

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