Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2024

Ferrari upgrades unlikely ahead of next race – Leclerc

Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc doesn’t expect Ferrari will have bring significant upgrades ready in time for the next round of the championship.

Ferrari has started the season as the closest challengers to the Red Bull who finished first and second in each of the opening races. However Leclerc says they will have to focus on optimising their existing car for the time being while waiting for developments to arrive.

“I don’t think we’ll have many things new in Melbourne,” said Leclerc. “But I think we are doing a good job by maximising our package at the moment.

“So that’s where we are. I think we’ll probably have to wait and see whenever we have new parts to the car, what kind of step we do forward. Hopefully that will bring us closer to Red Bull.”

He believes the team’s biggest deficit to Red Bull last weekend occured early in stints as their SF-24 couldn’t make its tyres work as successfully straight out of the pits.

“I don’t think tyre degradation was a thing, it was more about tyre warm-up and we struggled a bit more to bring them to the right temperature in order to push,” he explained.

“What made it also a bit more difficult because I had to overtake cars during my warm-up, and that was a bit trickier for us than for them. And that’s where they pulled the gap, which then stayed more or less stable towards the end. But that was too late for us to put them under any pressure.”

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Although Leclerc also found it more difficult to overtake other cars, such as Lando Norris’ McLaren, than the Red Bull drivers did, he does not believe that was due to their tyre warm-up problems.

“For Lando, I don’t think that that was the thing that was making me struggle to pass him. I think it was more about the straight-line speed.

“The restart obviously was quite tricky with the tyres being a bit off the window. But I think everybody was struggling, more or less. On our side, it was probably on the worst side.

“But then once they went into the temperature [window], which was the case when I was close to Lando, then it was more the top speed that was making me struggle to get past.”

Leclerc does not believe Ferrari are at a significant disadvantage in terms of their straight-line speed. “For the DRS, I don’t think that’s where we are lacking at the moment,” he said.

“But of course we’ll have a further analysis after this weekend to understand exactly what are still our weaknesses and try to update them.”

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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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