Leclerc: Ferrari must focus on its F1 "Sunday execution" for 2023

Charles Leclerc says his Ferrari team has to focus on improving its “Sunday execution” heading into the 2023 Formula 1 season after losing this year's title to Max Verstappen.

Leclerc: Ferrari must focus on its F1 "Sunday execution" for 2023

The team’s 2022 campaign has been characterised by strong qualifying pace followed disappointing Sundays, either because of a lack of pace, reliability problems or strategy fumbles.

Leclerc has scored nine pole positions this year, four more than rival Verstappen, but has just three wins to the Red Bull driver's 12.

The Monegasque driver says he wants to use the remaining four grands prix of this season to improve the team for next year and is far less concerned about the battle with Sergio Perez for second in the championship, who is currently one point clear.

“It's always nicer to finish second than third,” said Leclerc.

“But my main focus is not really on that, it's mostly on trying to use these last four races for us to be challenging for the world championship next year.

“We'll try to use these last four races in order to be a better team for next year.”

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When asked what the team needs to improve most, he replied: “I think, honestly, it’s Sunday execution as a whole.

“So this is loads of things. It's tyre management, as we've seen in the last race, it's still a weak point.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“Communication, strategy, reliability, just to be a stronger team coming to Sunday and to actually finalise the weekend in the best way possible.

“Because on the Saturday we've been often very strong, but the Sunday sometime things fell apart.”

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Regarding the way that Ferrari has reacted to setbacks this year, he added: “I think we always go through the same process. Whenever there's a mistake or something going wrong, you always try and analyse from where that's coming.

“And then once you understand from where it's coming, you're trying to look forward. This is what we've done this year, and that we'll continue to do.”

Leclerc says he’s already seen some improvements in recent weekends.

“Well, I think for communication strategy, etc, that's been a few races now we've been working on it,” he said. “And I've already seen positive signs. So that is good.

“And then there's the tyre management, as we've seen in the last race [in Suzuka]. Where this is a bit more difficult, we need to identify all the causes of it. But this is a continuous work that we are doing, and that we are getting better at.

“We've seen it this year in some races we've been very good with tyre management, the only thing we need to be is to be good in very specific situations.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, in the garage

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, in the garage

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

“Like in Japan, the Sunday was a bit cooler, obviously, it was raining also. And then when it's a bit of an unexpected situation, that's where we probably are not as good as maybe Red Bull is. So on that we need to work.”

Leclerc said he was pleased that the team has kept bringing new parts to the track, having run an updated floor at Suzuka: “Yeah, small things. I don't think there are any left. But we are coming to the end of the season, where obviously the focus is more now on next year.

“I think we also try to use these small upgrades to try and understand things before we finalise completely the design of next year's car.”

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