Charles Leclerc and the love that never blossomed with the Ferrari SF-23
The 2023 Formula One season hasn’t brought great satisfaction to Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. Regardless of how the season ends, the Monegasque hasn’t managed to be as competitive as he had initially thought and wanted. The SF-23, whose weaknesses have been clear from the start according to #16, has improved over the course of the year but without seriously challenging Red Bull’s dominance. In Singapore, in the only opportunity Scuderia Ferrari had to win, Charles Leclerc was sacrificed to favor Carlos Sainz’s success, who was faster in every session of the weekend.
Now the Monegasque driver risks finishing behind his teammate for the second time in three years. The -15 point gap in the 2023 Formula 1 Drivers’ standings, which could have been even greater without some team orders given to the Smooth Operator, is explained by a car that has returned to being understeering, similar to the 2021 model, which goes in the opposite direction to what Charles Leclerc wanted. However, he has never sought excuses, and in a lengthy interview with The-Race, he stated that it should be the driver who adapts to the setup and not the other way around.
Charles Leclerc’s words:
“In general, I love having a very strong front end on the car. I have always struggled with the rear, definitely too much at some points early in the season. But in the end, it’s me who sets up the car: it was my choice to have a strong front end at the beginning of the year when perhaps the car couldn’t handle it, so I don’t look for excuses, and I hate to find them,” these are the words of the Monegasque. “I know exactly why I made some mistakes, and that’s the most important thing because you can learn for the rest of the season.” – he pointed out.
“Last year, we had a very strong and consistent front end all year. This year has been more difficult to manage, but you have to adapt. My driving style was good in ideal conditions, but unfortunately, conditions always change. In some cases, you have to work more on understeer, which I don’t like and it’s not my strength, but I had to work on my style to try to adapt it better to this type of setup, which we need at the moment.” – Scuderia Ferrari Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc concluded.
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