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Charles Leclerc

How Leclerc aims to tackle Saudi GP grid penalty

Facing a ten-place grid drop, Charles Leclerc is hoping an alternative tyre strategy and potential Safety Car deployments will help him climb the order in Jeddah.

Leclerc Bahrain
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc says he will look to adopt an alternative tyre strategy in this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the race likely to feature Safety Car-induced disruption.

A combination of fast, sweeping turns, and a lack of run-off areas at the Jeddah Street Circuit makes it difficult to avoid the deployment of the Safety Car in the event of an accident.

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021 saw no fewer than four separate Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car deployments, along with two Red Flags.

Facing a ten-place grid drop for exceeding his season's quota of control electronics units, Leclerc will be starting Sunday's race no higher than 11th, and said Ferrari would try to use an alternative tyre strategy and take advantage of Safety Car deployments to vault him up the order.

"It is very likely, but I think we'll just try and focus on ourselves,” Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com, when asked about the possibility of Safety Car deployments disrupting Sunday's race.

"The Safety Car is very difficult to predict, so we'll try to do the best strategy possible to offset ourselves with the others and do something a little bit different in order to try and take every opportunity."

Perez loses out in 2022

Last year's race saw the Safety Car deployed at the worst possible time for early leader Sergio Perez, who had pitted the previous lap, and could only watch as his rivals used the Safety Car period to make their stops and overtake him, leaving the Mexican to finish the race a disgruntled fourth.

Mick Schumacher was another driver to fall foul of the Jeddah Street Circuit's unforgiving nature in 2022, with the German forced to sit out of last year's race after having damaged his car in a high-speed qualifying crash.

Also interesting:

Join RacingNews365.com journalists Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken as they discuss all the key talking points ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

F1 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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