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Leclerc: Ferrari’s fresh insight of SF-23 weakness a boost for 2024 F1 car revamp

Charles Leclerc says the exposing of Ferrari’s weaknesses in recent races is a big help in ensuring its “very different” Formula 1 design for 2024 is a success.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Although Ferrari enjoyed its most competitive weekend of the year so far in Italy a fortnight ago, the performance also served to highlight some core deficits in the performance of the SF-23.

In particular, testing it conducted at Monza, confirming the outcome of experiments it did in the previous race at Zandvoort, helped deliver more answers about why Ferrari loses out when more downforce is added to the car.

Leclerc thinks that the understanding Ferrari took away from Monza was important as it continues to focus on a major change of car design for next season.

“We learned plenty during Monza, especially about our weaknesses,” he said in Singapore. “And it confirmed that we were stronger on low downforce tracks, which obviously for here means it's going to be a bit more of a difficult weekend for us.

“After Monza we understood more things which are good for this year, even though it will be a small step in the right direction, but mostly it’s for designing next year's car which is positive.”

Ferrari is set to make some extensive changes for its 2024 challenger, with Leclerc saying that such a different direction is now well justified knowing what happened at Monza.

“The 2024 project is very different to the car we have this year,” he explained. “With everything we've learned also, it reaffirms that it's a good choice that we've done for next year.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

Photo by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images

“The more we learn, the better it is for doing the last few details for next year's car. So it's super important.

“It’s really good to understand that also before the end of the season, because we've still got quite a few races. So we can maybe push a bit more in that direction.”

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Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz reckons that Ferrari’s understanding of its car deficit in high-downforce trim is now much more advanced thanks to the critical work in did ahead of the Dutch GP.

“We did actually learn some very interesting stuff about how our car performs in that sort of track, what our high downforce wings are doing and why in some other cases they don't work as well as we like,” he said.

“That's why we're changing a lot the package race-to-race. Hopefully for this weekend we found a better solution than in Zandvoort, and it can give us a bit more performance.

“But honestly, I think it's a much bigger thing than just the rear wing. It's more a car characteristic thing.”

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