Leclerc urges Ferrari to improve pit stops after problems for ‘three races in a row’

2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc called on Ferrari to improve their pit stops after suffering another setback in the Belgian Grand Prix sprint race today.

The Ferrari driver said it was the third race in a row that he had been delayed by a problem in the pits.

“We have the statistics of all the pit stops around the paddock and before this race we were still one of the best,” said Leclerc. “The only thing is that in the last few races we started to struggle a bit more.

“So now we will look into it because it’s been two, three races in a row where we’ve had one or two pit stops where we’ve struggled and it has to become one of our priorities in order to maximise our points.”

The race began on a damp track and all 20 drivers pitted within the first two laps to discard their full wet weather tyres for intermediate rubber. Leclerc was running behind the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jnr at the start, and pitted on the lap after his team mate to avoid unnecessarily losing time.

“In an ideal world, I would have definitely come in straight away, but I think we did the right choice,” he said. “We would have lost too much time if I was pitting behind Carlos, so I had no choice. It wasn’t ideal, of course, but it’s the way it is.

“But what hurt us even more is the slow pit stop, and this we need to look into it because it’s been two races where we are struggling a bit more with the pit stops and we’ll look into it.

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“As I said many times, when we are not fast enough we need to maximise all our points and today we didn’t. Yes we are only speaking about one or two points but still it’s one or two points. We need to make sure we maximise absolutely everything.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Belgian Grand Prix sprint race in pictures
Both Ferrari drivers lost time in the pits as the team held them in their pit boxes to ensure they didn’t impede other drivers as they left. Sainz suspects the location of the team’s pit box worked against them.

“I was held for a very long time,” he said. “I don’t know if we were overcautious or what. We need to look at it because it cannot be that I’m boxing behind P1 and I go P7.”

“The problem for us is being so early in the pit lane by the time your pit stop’s done, everyone is coming through so you cannot relaunch in the pit lane, which is a disadvantaged position to be in by pure luck.

“But we need to review because you can be disadvantaged, but you can also be cautious, and maybe we were both.”

The two Ferraris locked out the second row of the grid but finished fourth and fifth after gaining one place after the race due to Lewis Hamilton’s penalty. “I think we must have done something not quite right if Perez, Hamilton and Gasly overtook us,” Sainz concluded.

“So we will have to look at it because it cost us probably a podium in the sprint today. The pace wasn’t that bad.”

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2023 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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4 comments on “Leclerc urges Ferrari to improve pit stops after problems for ‘three races in a row’”

  1. Ferrari and botched pitstops – a timeless classic.

  2. Still, the Bottas pitstop at Monaco 2021 by Merc takes the cake

    What was it , 90 hours or so?

    1. Ahah, yes, and even the germany 2019 front wing change by hamilton was no joke, 50 seconds! They had some anniversary that year related to the 50s era and back then pit stops were around that time too, so they played the part masterfully.

  3. Coventry Climax
    30th July 2023, 0:22

    Somehow a Ferrari pitstop always looks like panic and chaos.

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