Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2021

Ferrari haven’t solved tyre problems despite Silverstone near-win – Leclerc

2021 British Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc says Ferrari have not solved the tyre problems behind their dire performance in France, despite finishing yesterday’s British Grand Prix less than four seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton.

Both Ferrari drivers finished out of the points at Paul Ricard after experiencing a serious drop-off in tyre performance. The team were concerned they might encounter a repeat at Silverstone, another circuit which puts severe strain on the front tyres.

However both drivers had strong pace in the race. Leclerc, who started fourth, took the lead on the first lap after Hamilton and Max Verstappen collided. He kept the lead until lap 49, when Hamilton overtook him for the victory with three laps to go.

Leclerc said Ferrari’s pace in the opening stint on medium tyres was “surprisingly good”. He was able to run ahead of Hamilton despite an intermittent engine problem. “The car felt incredible there and we were very, very quick.”

However Hamilton caught him quickly once they switched to harder tyres in the second stint.

“On the hard, it’s not like something felt especially weak,” said Leclerc. “It felt quite good but whenever I started to hit the traffic, I could feel we were on a bit more fragile tyre and we seemed to suffer a bit more, by being [near] those guys, even though it was so quite far, I could feel the rear of the car was not as stable as I wanted it to be.

“This made us lose a little bit the pace that we had before. But overall, even when everything felt good, Lewis was just much quicker than us on those hard tyres.”

Ferrari’s efforts to understand what went wrong in the French Grand Prix will continue despite their successful race yesterday, said Leclerc.

“There’s been a big investigation after France to try to understand exactly why we were struggling that much with those front tyres,” he said. “I don’t think we get that answer yet. So yes, we were much better here but I don’t think it is because we found the complete answer of what happened in France.

“So, the investigation is still going on and we are still working hard on it. And even though we’ve had a good day today we don’t forget about the bad day in France and once we understand the full extent of why we were slow in France.

“Then I’m pretty sure we will do a big step as a team and it will help us to reproduce this type of performance as we did today.”

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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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5 comments on “Ferrari haven’t solved tyre problems despite Silverstone near-win – Leclerc”

  1. The conditions were vastly differnet from the one in Paul Ricard: the track was rubbered in and track temperatures were very high (complete opposite to the French GP)
    They won’t know if they solved their issues with graining, until they encounter similar conditions: green track and lower track temperatures

    Still, it seems they unlocked a little bit more pace from their car, because they were more competitive in Silverstone than they were in Barcelona and substantially quicker than McLaren.

    I wonder how competitive they are going to be at the Hungaroring. On paper it should suit the Ferrari very much, because S2 and 3 are basically just medium and low speed corners, the PU just matters in S1. They might challenge for the podium there as well.

    1. The pace disadvantage on the hard tire against Hamilton in Silverstone was a pity.
      At one point, Leclerc said on the radio that he had pace in hand.
      Maybe he lost too much time because of the engine glitch.
      Too bad because it looked very good until his pitstop.

      Let’s see at Hungary. With some luck, a podium could be possible.

      1. I doubt it. Mercedes seem to have elected to push at a very specific point of the race, I think they were in control. Trying to avoid pitting twice and avoid pushing too soon on the hards. On the lap chart they suddenly go 2s quicker, like Lec said they looked alright on the hard, his pace went up by a sec but it was not enough, had no luck with drs on traffic but he was a sitting duck.

        1. @peartree might as well be. I imagine Hamilton would try to clear Leclerc as soon as possible and build up a gap to come out of the pits in front of him if he had the pace to do it but it makes sense to extend the stint as much as possible so there are fewer cars to overtake on track after pitting while guaranteeing a 1 stop or even being open to take advantage of a SC.

  2. We are very lucky to watch two very talented drivers (Max and Charles) in the same time.

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