Formula 1

Leclerc Highlights ‘Three Key Elements’ Ferrari Need to Focus on ahead of 2023

2 Mins read
Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc has pinpointed three key elements that Scuderia Ferrari need to improve on ahead of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, elements that heavily affected them during 2022.

Leclerc started 2022 superbly, taking victories in Bahrain and Australia either side of a second-place finish in Saudi Arabia, but ultimately, Oracle Red Bull Racing had a much better season than Ferrari, with their rivals taking seventeen of the twenty-two race victories available.

Max Verstappen swept to his second consecutive Drivers’ Championship thanks to taking a record breaking fifteen of those victories, with Leclerc forced to battle the other Red Bull of Sergio Pérez for second place, a battle he would just about win by three points.

Leclerc says Ferrari’s reliability cost them valuable points, not only for the races that he retired from (he retired from the Azerbaijan and Spanish Grand Prix from the lead with mechanical issues) but the grid penalties engine component changes cost them later in the season.

He also felt some of the strategy calls made by the team during the season were questionable, while he admitted Ferrari also did not have all the answers when it came to tyre management with Pirelli’s new eighteen-inch tyres.

“Honestly there are three key elements,” Leclerc is quoted as saying by PlanetF1.com. “Reliability has been a problem at one point of the season, which we paid the price for later on with penalties and other things.

“Strategy. I think we’ve done too many mistakes at one point of the season and tyre management. We haven’t been consistent enough at our 100%.

“We also sometimes have very bad races and we don’t seem to have the understanding yet of how to have a good tyre management all the time. So these are the three key aspects in which we are focusing on at the moment.”

Leclerc felt there was improvements with strategy calls in the final few races of 2022, although it was difficult for them to show this due to Ferrari’s pace not being as strong as it had been earlier in the season.

There were still some mistakes, such as in Qualifying for the São Paulo Grand Prix when Ferrari opted to put him on intermediate tyres on a dry track after expecting rain, but on race days, the Monegasque driver felt they made better decisions.

“I felt like strategy has been definitely a step forward in the last few races,” said Leclerc. “Difficult to show because we don’t have the pace that we had at the beginning of the year. But the way we communicate, the way we take decisions is better.

“Of course there were a few mistakes, but I think we took better decisions come race day. Tyre strategy and obviously reliability, that we cannot forget, are the two things that we’ll be focusing on.”

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