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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc details how Ferrari issues 'disguised' in qualifying

The Ferrari driver was able to bank five pole positions in 2023, but could not convert any into a win.

Leclerc Las Vegas
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc has explained how Ferrari's weaknesses in its 2023 car were "disguised" by new tyres in qualifying.

Leclerc took five poles in 2023, the second most of any driver behind Max Verstappen, but the one-lap pace could not be transferred into races, with second place in Austria, Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi his best result.

The failure also means Leclerc has not won from his last 12 starts from pole, stretching back to the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, as the Monegasque detailed how the SF-23 was particularly sensitive to its tyres.

"When we have new tyres in qualifying, the extra grip from the tyres compensates for the car's weaknesses," Leclerc told Auto Motor und Sport.

"As soon as the tyres get older and lose grip and we have a lot of fuel on board, the problems start.

"Then if we are driving in traffic, the wind picks up or the temperatures change, the weaknesses become even more obvious.

"Then it becomes very difficult to drive the car.

"With us, new tyres disguise the weaker points, which would otherwise slow us down. With Red Bull this is less the case.

"As I said, it's a very thin line on which the car works. Take the Mexico City Grand Prix: We were really fast on medium tyres, but as soon as we got on hard tyres, nothing worked."

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