Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Imola, 2024

Ferrari expect qualifying gain after spotting rivals’ power strategy tactics

Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc says Ferrari understand why a difference in engine power use left them at a disadvantage to rivals Red Bull and McLaren at Imola.

He said the team’s analysis of how drivers started their laps in qualifying for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix revealed he could have gained time on pole-winner Max Verstappen and second-placed Lando Norris, who both started ahead of him. Verstappen was also aided by starting his lap in the slipstream of Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas.

“Re-analysing qualifying, I think we basically lost everything at the launch,” Leclerc explained. “For some reason, we had a slightly different power strategy compared to McLaren and Red Bull, and we lost everything on the run down to turn two [Tamburello]. Max, on top of that, had the slipstream.”

Starting third “cost us maybe a better result in the race” at Imola, he added.

Leclerc said the team had noticed their rivals’ advantage earlier in the season. He does not expect emulating it will provide a significant advantage in Monaco, where the run to the first corner at the start of the lap is short.

“It’s not a concern,” he said. “Obviously we have seen it in the last race a little bit, we’ve seen it in Jeddah a little bit. But I think it’s more the way we manage everything and it’s not something that is set in stone that we cannot change short term.

“So we just have to look into it, but it’s no big deal. But it seems that Red Bull and McLaren was on the positive side of things in Imola and we missed a little bit of time on that. We have looked into it.

“I don’t think that here it will make such a difference. It’s a very different situation we are in. However, it can for the rest of the season. So we’ve done a proper analysis on our side and I’m sure we’ll grow from that.”

His team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr also remarked on what they discovered in qualifying at the end of last week’s race.

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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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1 comments on “Ferrari expect qualifying gain after spotting rivals’ power strategy tactics”

  1. OT: Is there a place to find how many sets of each compound each team chose to bring?

    Maybe RF already posts this each week and I just haven’t noticed. If not, that’d be an obvious winner as content.

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