Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2023

Leclerc frustrated by Ferrari’s 17 orders to “lift off” in 24-lap sprint race

Formula 1

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Ferrari told Charles Leclerc to lift off to reduce his engine temperatures 17 times during yesterday’s 24-lap sprint race.

The team admitted afterwards it had not got its cooling set-up right for yesterday’s sprint race.

Leclerc became increasingly frustrated by the repeated messages. At one point he replied “no” when told he needed to back off further. However he complied with his team’s instructions and reached the end of the race in fifth place.

“We made a small mistake on the cooling today and we asked the drivers to do a massive lift and coast from lap two,” team principal Frederic Vasseur admitted. “But overall I think we did a good one. We didn’t give up too many points to Mercedes and we are probably in a better shape for tomorrow.”

Leclerc’s team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr also received repeated messages to lift off. “We had to manage a lot the temperatures of the engine which meant we were in battles that we probably didn’t expect to be,” he said.

“Unfortunately we were suffering too much with that and we couldn’t push all race day. We did much more [lift-and-coast] than I’ve done in my whole career, so it was a very tricky day.”

The sprint race was held in temperatures of up to 27C, several degrees hotter than expected for today’s grand prix. Sainz said he hopes the grand prix is better for them. “If not, I cannot see 71 laps driving like I did today because it was really, really slow and we couldn’t really push.”

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Selected Leclerc radio messages from sprint race

Marcos PadrosAnd we need some lift-off for temperatures.
Marcos PadrosAnd easy turn 11 for tyres
Marcos PadrosAnd we need to increase lift-off for temperatures. So it is important. Increase lift-off please.
Marcos PadrosAnd the lift-off you’ve done, it’s not enough, we need to increase it for temperatures.
Marcos PadrosAnd right toggle for turn one, suggestion. And we need to increase tyre saving turn 11.
Marcos PadrosLast lap lift-off was not enough. We need to increase a bit please.
Marcos PadrosSo we believe we need to increase tyre saving turn 11. But I leave it up to you.
Marcos PadrosAnd we need to increase lift-off, please. Increase lift-off.
Marcos PadrosEngine braking minus one, suggestion. Lift-off during last lap was fine, just keep it like this all the laps, please.
Marcos PadrosAnd last lap lift-off was not enough, we need to increase it please.
Marcos PadrosTsunoda behind 0.9. Overall you are doing a good job on tyres. Just a bit too aggressive turn 11, up to you.
Marcos PadrosAnd last lap lift-off was not enough. We need to increase it please.
LeclercGuys, it’s fucking a lot, the lift-off.
Marcos PadrosOkay understood. Charles, we know it’s quite a lot, but we have to do it, okay. So keep doing lift-off please. And diff mid plus one, suggestion.
Marcos PadrosYou need a bit more [lift-and-coast] than last lap please.
Marcos PadrosYes, please.
Marcos PadrosAnd 10 laps to go, 10 laps. Overall you’re doing a good job. We just need to manage temperatures, okay. You’re doing a good job.
Marcos PadrosAnd last lap lift-off was good. Keep it like this
Marcos PadrosGap to Tsunoda behind 1.0. He’s with DRS. And you are doing a good job on lift-off, continue like this.
Marcos PadrosGap to Tsunoda behind 1.0, still with DRS. Good job again on lift-off. Hamilton lap time in front 15.6.
Marcos PadrosGap to Tsunoda behind 0.9. We need to increase lift-off based on last lap. Hamilton 16.9.
Marcos PadrosAnd we need to increase a bit more lift-off. Hamilton lap time, 16.6.
Marcos PadrosTsunoda with DRS behind. Good job lift-off and Hamilton in front complaining about rear tyres.
Marcos PadrosFour laps to go, four laps. And good job. Hamilton DRS also Tsunoda behind, both of them fighting.
Automated messageChequered flag.
Marcos PadrosAnd mode slow please, mode slow. And P5, well managed.
LeclercYeah, copy.

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4 comments on “Leclerc frustrated by Ferrari’s 17 orders to “lift off” in 24-lap sprint race”

  1. Well, at least fixing the cooling is probably something they can fix for today’s race, especially if it will be cooler.

    1. @bosyber Cars have been in parc-ferme since the start of qualifying on Friday so I don’t think they would be allowed to do anything to change the cooling.

      Yes fine it’s Ferrari’s mistake to not open up the cooling enough but under this silly sprint format is it really good for the sport or even the show that Liberty seem so obsessed with for a team that could be a challenge for the win or at least the podium places are potentially rendered uncompetitive due to an error they made 2 days ago when conditions were completely different.

      Just ditch parc-ferme coming in so early in the weekend and allow teams to make changes to better optimise cars for conditions on the day.

      1. There seems to be a universal hatred for this aspect for this aspect of the sprint weekends. They could change it anytime and should have already.

        It’s supposed to be cooler today though. So, considering all that lift and coast, they should be fast today if temps stay under control. Leclerc wasn’t even running in hot air though, which makes it even more alarming.

  2. Formula one these days is a complete joke. Ferrari have made an error on the cooling for the sprint and messed up Leclarc’s race. What I don’t understand is why they always mess up the same way? What I mean is they always under cool requiring lift and coast. You never hear the team say the car is too cool push harder. Also what is the deal with Pirelli? I would be embarrassed to put my name to tyres if they needed so much babying.

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