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Charles Leclerc

Why Leclerc defends 2023 Ferrari: 'We didn't do a bad job'

Title ambitions in 2023 have fallen away for Charles Leclerc and Ferrari, with one simple reason.

Leclerc Baku pole
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Charles Leclerc feels that Ferrari 'did not do a bad job' with their 2023 Formula 1 car, but instead believes that Red Bull "made twice the step" this season.

After a promising start in 2022 eventually faded away, hopes were high that the SF-23 would be the machine to carry either Leclerc or Carlos Sainz to Ferrari's first Drivers' Championship since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

However, after five races of 2023, the Scuderia has just one podium to its name - Leclerc in Azerbaijan - as Red Bull have racked up four one-two finishes with either Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez set to claim the title.

Ferrari are instead locked in a battle for second with Aston Martin and Mercedes, with each team seemingly taking turns to be Red Bull's closest challengers at any given race.

And Leclerc feels that the deficit to Red Bull is very simply because they did a better job of developing than Ferrari - who hit their targets over the winter.

Leclerc: Too early to commit to concept change

Well, honestly, the car [is] doing exactly what we expected it to do, so it's not like we did a bad job [or] we didn't arrive to our expectations," he told media including RacingNews365.

"But unfortunately, Red Bull did twice [as much of] a step compared to us, so I think it's more where we fixed the targets than anything else.

"There are a few things that we've realised that should look much better for the future, and that gives me confidence for the future, and now I understand a bite more why we are here now.

"I'm confident for the future, probably not for the short-term, because the gap to Red Bull is significant, but I am sure that we will come back.

"I don't want to give a timeframe, but we'll work as hard as possible for it to be quickly as possible.

"For the car concept, we are looking into it, and it is still too early to take conclusions out of it.

"It hasn't worked the way we wanted, but that doesn't mean we need to change completely from now.

"But we have some ideas on where we need to work on [to catch Red Bull]."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix