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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc delivers verdict after 2024 Ferrari F1 debut

Charles Leclerc has already had a sample of Ferrari’s Formula 1 challenger for the year ahead at a shakedown in Fiorano.

Charles Leclerc has insisted that Ferrari’s SF-24 feels “healthier” than its predecessor following a series of installation laps at Fiorano.

Ferrari launched its new challenger earlier this week before taking to the track to complete its initial shakedown ahead of pre-season testing.

The Italian squad endured a difficult campaign last year, slipping to third place in the Constructors’ Championship having entered the season hoping to contend for the World Championship.

The Ferrari challenger from last term offered a series of issues for the drivers, namely its mid-corner unpredictability.

When asked by media including RacingNews365 to compare his installation laps from 2023 to this year, Leclerc said: “I’m trying to remember.

“I remember that after the first lap last year, or if it wasn't the first lap, it was the first three or four laps, I wasn’t really happy with the behaviour of the car.

“The car was very, very difficult to drive. This year, the car feels healthier and in a better place.”

Leclerc cautious over Ferrari pace

However, Leclerc was adamant that the initial strong feeling behind the cockpit does not mean Ferrari is guaranteed to be competitive at the start of the season.

“On the other hand, I want to push on the point that doesn't mean anything [for] the competitiveness of the car,” he said.

“If other teams have done bigger steps forward in terms of lap time gains, then it can be an easier car to drive - but if it's not fast enough, it won't be fast enough on track.

“So in terms of competitiveness, it's very difficult - in terms of actual feeling of the very first laps, I will say I've had a better feeling this year than I did last year.”

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