Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2019

Leclerc expects boost from new engine in Abu Dhabi

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In the round-up: Charles Leclerc believes his new engine will pay off on Yas Marina’s long straights.

What they say

[icon2019autocoursempu]Leclerc had a new engine fitted to his car in Brazil. Although it is a fresher engine it is not newer in terms of specification.

I’m pretty sure that then we’ll see the advantages of changing the engine in Abu Dhabi.

[The new engine] will be a plus. Whether it’s in qualifying or in the race I think it’s pretty similar, there will be an advantage overall.

I think there’s more to gain by changing the engine with the older one we’ve seen also in Austin it was not all of it but there was probably a little bit of it inside the results and I’m pretty sure this will will help us to gain more points.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

We’re more than halfway to confirming its grid for the 2021 F1 season, reckons Lenny:

By my count that means 6 teams are more-or-less confirmed for 2021. McLaren and Williams are confirmed to have Mercedes power, while Williams also have Russell under contract for that season. Ocon is contracted to Renault and Perez to Racing Point, while Red Bull and Toro Rosso are also pretty much confirmed after this news. That leaves on Mercedes and the three Ferrari-powered teams to buy in to the new rules.
Lenny (@Leonardodicappucino)

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On this day in F1

  • On this day in 1963 the 1951 Indianapolis 500 winner Lee Wallard died. He only started one other world championship race, giving him a record 50% win rate.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Leclerc expects boost from new engine in Abu Dhabi”

  1. Thoroughly enjoyed that Brawn GP article. Confirmed a lot of things I always thought about Jenson Button as well. Can’t understand why he’s as liked as he is.

    1. What did it confirm? Only bad things they said about button was that he was nervous about losing his championship and that he left to mclaren after he had won the championship.

      1. @socksolid, perhaps it was the reference to the comments from Vowles about Button becoming mistrustful of the team and allowing himself to be influenced by a clique of friends around him to put all the blame for his weaker performances later on in the season on the team, rather than recognising that his lack of confidence was also a contributing factor.

    2. Weird flex. There’s very little about button in that article and they explain their feelings very well. It’s an amazing article, one of the highest quality insights I’ve seen on an f1 website. I don’t think I fully appreciated what a shoestring it was run on at the time – winning masks a lot of things!

    3. Can’t understand why he’s as liked as he is.

      Because he has an actual personality? Give us more JB’s over Robottas’s any day of the week.

  2. The Brawn GP article is an amazing read!!! One of the best things I’ve read in a long time about Formula 1 and racing.

  3. #COTD: well, contracts in F1 are historically worth less than the paper they are printed on.

    1. And it’s fairly obvious that the contract has a clause saying that these engine contracts and driver contracts are only valid if the engine provider or racing team is still participating in F1

    2. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
      28th November 2019, 9:53

      @uneedafinn2winn @todfod I understand that, but they still show intent, especially those that were published after the rules were officially made public. Also, there will still be breach of contract clauses, meaning teams would probably have to pay significant severance fees to part ways with drivers or engine manufacturers. This is why I said more-or-less confirmed. It’s not official, but it gives us a good idea of whether they’re planning for 2021.

    3. Well just look what happend in WRC. Citroen just pulled the plug because they didn’t reach their goal and left Ogier and EP hanging.

      1. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
        29th November 2019, 9:48

        @qeki I read that it was the other way around, that Citroen left because Ogier and co decided to leave

        1. @leonardodicappucino Yes, they left because Ogier couldn’t win championship which ment that Ogier and Lappi had a possibility to not a have a seat next year.

  4. Great story about Brawn GP.
    I still vividly recall it as I was there in Melbourne watching the first race.
    As I always like the underdog I wanted to support them. But there was no team merchandise for sale, so I made my own cap with the Brawn logo hand-drawn on it.
    I was short of ridiculed the first day, but by Sunday people wanted to buy my cap ;)

    1. Great story @coldfly! Did you manage to sell a few hundred caps before your hand cramped up? ;-)

  5. Let’s see if a new Ferrari power unit restores the pace advantage they had after the summer break. It would be good to see Leclerc finish this season on a high. He could easily have had 4 to 5 wins this season, and could have finished this season in P2 if it wasn’t for reliability issues, team orders and his teammate taking him out in the last race.

    Hoping he stamps his authority as lead driver at Ferrari starting with this race weekend and carries that momentum in to next season.

    1. Finishing P3 of P4, or theoretically P2 had he not suffered as much car/team-mate/team-order trouble, is all irrelevant as long as there is this doubt about the legality of the PU they ran. @todfod

      But in all those cases he beats his teammate, a more experienced/better embedded/multi WDC winner, which is a great season for Leclerc as a driver.
      The only criticism I have of Leclerc is that he did not show any real progress during the season. And even if he is beating his team-mate in many occasions he is not at the level of Hamilton or Verstappen yet.

      1. @coldfly

        Agree. The legality of the PU is questionable, and a fresh PU at Abu dhabi should definitely restore their quali advantage to Spa / Monza levels if they weren’t cheating. But regardless of the legality, they seem capable of hiding their tricks for half a season before the FIA steps in… So that’s a tactic they could use next season as well. My hunch is that Ferrari will still be the PU to beat next season.

        I don’t know if I agree about Leclerc not showing progress throughout the season. His qualifying was significantly better in the 2nd half of the season and he ironed some errors (like we saw in Baku and Monaco).

        I think he’ll start his next season much stronger and without any #2 driver treatment… We should see him contending for the title.

      2. The only criticism I have of Leclerc is that he did not show any real progress during the season.

        Baffling comment for the below reasons;

        * Started the season with poorer tyre management than Vettel, improved and surpassed Vettel on this metric after summer break
        * Started the season less willing to get his elbows out, learned from Austria and was borderline reckless in his defence by Monza, like a completely different driver
        * Started the season regularly obeying team orders, now questions everything (as it should be)
        * Started out generally a few tenths off Vettel in qualifying, changed his appraoch to qually and now is regularly a few tenths ahead.

        Overall I think he has shown more clear upward progress than any other driver on the grid across the season so I don’t understand your comment at all.

  6. I wouldn’t be entirely sure about Russel’s future at Williams beyond the end of next season given his Mercedes-backing. He could very well be in the Mercedes (presuming they’d still have a team by then) should at least one of the team’s current-drivers not be there anymore.

    1. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
      28th November 2019, 9:56

      @jerejj I agree that whether or not Russell drives for William’s in 2021 is still up in the air, although they have seemed particularly adamant that they will be keeping hold of him. I take it more as a sign though that they want to be and are confident in that they can be on the grid in 2021

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