Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Zandvoort, 2023

Leclerc “can’t wait” for Ferrari to replace their 2023 car

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Charles Leclerc admitted he has “zero idea” how his Ferrari is going to handle from corner to corner after crashing in qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix.

Ferrari has said its 2024 car will be completely different and Leclerc is eagerly anticipating its arrival.

He reached the final round of qualifying for this weekend’s race but crashed during Q3 and will start from ninth on the grid.

“It’s just a very difficult weekend,” Leclerc admitted. “Every time you get into the car not knowing what you are going to get is not a situation I like.”

The Ferrari driver crashed at turn nine, which he said is one of three corners where his car has handled badly all the weekend. “It’s one of those weekends where the car is extremely difficult to drive,” he said.

“Since FP1 we’ve been struggling in turns one, nine and 10. We changed the car completely and honestly there’s not much that helps us in these three corners.

“Turn nine and 10 is one of those corners where you go into the corner, you are releasing the brakes, there’s absolutely no grip in mid-corner for whatever reason. And then you are just trusting the car gripping again in the exit, which it didn’t on that lap and I obviously ended up in the wall.”

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He said the SF 23 gives him no confidence to push to the limit at Zandvoort.

“The conditions in a way I think we’ve had plenty of times this year and I’m getting more and more comfortable and I’m okay with that too,” he said. “But it’s just a car this weekend which is extremely difficult to drive.

“In Formula 1 it’s all about anticipating and knowing what balance you are going to get once you get into the corner. But at the moment I’m getting into the corner and I have zero idea whether I’m going to have huge understeer, huge oversteer, and that makes it very, very difficult for us.

“So it’s been a very difficult weekend and hopefully we can have a clean race.”

Yesterday Ferrari’s head of chassis development Enrico Cardile said the team is planning to change its car significantly for 2024. Leclerc said it was “great to hear that.”

“Obviously I can’t wait but first I’ve got a season to finish in ’23. But we can only go another direction because at the moment honestly the car is really difficult to drive.

“It’s just very difficult to be on the limit. I think we are particularly struggling this weekend and even more so than what the balance would slow us down, just because we need to be so far off the limit because as soon as you get close to the limit, you just really don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s exactly what happened in my Q3 lap so it’s a difficult situation.”

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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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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8 comments on “Leclerc “can’t wait” for Ferrari to replace their 2023 car”

  1. I said many times Leclerc needs 0.2-0.3s/lap of car advantage to challenge Max and Chuck only confirms it’s a fact with every passing weekend. If he ever gets into such dominant car that even Max can’t beat, he would be deserving 1-time world champion like Vettel, Villeneuve or Raikkonen, but nothing more than that.

    1. Stephen Taylor
      26th August 2023, 20:30

      Vettel won 4 WDCs . Leclerc is not as good Kimi was in his McLaren prime in 2004-05.

      1. And it’s a shame, because Vettel is on a 1 title only level. Unfortunately he lucked into 5 dominant cars in a row, cars which were 0.5-1s/lap faster than his rivals, but at least his talent was thereafter verified by Ricciardo and Leclerc.

    2. at this point in time, i bet he would more than welcome a title due to a vastly better car. Others like Alesi, whom he’s often compared for wasting his prime with Ferrari, couldn’t get even that.

  2. “It’s just a very difficult weekend,” Ferrari admitted. “Every time Leclerc gets into the car not knowing what he is doing is not a situation we like.”

  3. pizza_pazzo2004
    26th August 2023, 19:38


  4. Stephen Taylor
    26th August 2023, 20:12

    Leclerc is imo the most infuriating driver on the grid – crashing after to overddrive to try and extract performance that wasn’t there again! FFS Charles show some more maturity in your driving and accept the limits of your car . You are not a rookie anymore. Ferrari is not just wasting Leclerc talent Leclerc is doing it himself with rookie errors.

  5. How does this work, physics wise? The only parts on the car that change from lap to lap are its fuel weight and tyres. Is the shifting of the loads a problem, so a suspension issue?

    As fir Leclerc, this isn’t looking too good. In sports terms, 2019 is a long time ago, and while often matching Vettel was impressive, I don’t think the latter was on his best level facing yet another wasted season. Motivation is hugely important. Still, Leclerc did very well. But for a driver his age to have had their best moments be five seasons ago is a problem.

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