Leclerc: No 'huge' tyre deg at Spa a good sign

© XPB 

Charles Leclerc has taken as an encouraging sign Ferrari's reduced tyre degradation at Spa, although the Monegasque admitted that it was too early to know if the issue has been permanently ironed out.

Leclerc relied on a two-stop soft-to-medium-to soft strategy in the Belgium Grand Prix to claim the final spot on the podium in the race behind the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Leclerc conceded after the race that the sheer 22-second gap with Verstappen at the checkered flag proved once again that the Scuderia has work to do to significantly reduce that void.

But inching closer to the bulls will only be possible if Ferrari succeeds in solving the tyre degradation troubles that have often undermined the team's efforts this season.

And in Spa, there were signs that the Italian outfit is on the right track.

"I think it's a bit too early to say but it's been two or three races where we are managing our tyres better," Leclerc said.

"I think today, this was definitely not the reason why we finished so far behind the Red Bulls, I think they were just quicker.

"But in terms of tyre management, we didn't have a huge degradation. And also looking at Mercedes behind, I was in control of the pace of my tyres.

"So on that it looked good. We still need to keep an eye on that because sometimes, especially in very specific conditions, we sometimes get off the window of the tyres, the right window, and then we struggle quite a lot."

Tyre degradation appeared to be a wide-spread issue at Spa, to varying degrees depending on the team. Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur reckoned that the problem was mitigated on the SF-23 thanks to the car's strong pace in Belgium which also facilitated the team's race strategy.

"Sometimes it's just that when you don't have the pace, you have to overpush," said Vasseur, quoted by

"Everybody's managing, even Red Bull, they were managing a lot during the race.

"And when you don't have the pace, you have to manage. Or if you push, you damage the tyres, but it's the main driver of the situation, like for the strategy.

"It's much easier to have a good strategy when the pace is there than when you don't have the pace. When you don't have the pace, you can do whatever you want, you will be far away, and for tyre deg, it's almost the same.

"When the pace is there, it's much easier to manage. When you don't have the pace, you have to push."

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