Leclerc: Ferrari upgrades in Spain won’t solve low-speed weakness


Charles Leclerc believes the significant upgrade package introduced by Ferrari for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix will offer improvements but won’t yet solve the SF-24’s weakness in low-speed corners.

Ferrari's disastrous double DNF in Canada just two weeks ago as encouraged the Scuderia to fast-track a selection of changes in a bid to reignite the team’s title fight.

The main modifications on the Italian outfit’s contender include revised sidepods, cockpit winglets and a new medium-high downforce rear wing, all of which are expected to boost the SF-24’s overall performance.

“We have seen since two or three races, I mean since China especially, that we have this weakness with low-speed corners,” commented Leclerc, speaking to the media on Thursday in Barcelona.

“We’ll try to tackle, however, it was too short term to tackle it with this one.

“I think this one is just to try and improve the package overall, as every team try to add a little bit of downforce, try to take off a little bit of drag, and then you’ve got a better car.

“So this is what we are trying to do with this package just to improve it a little bit everywhere.

“And then for the longer-term developments we’ll target more what we have since the beginning of the year.”


Leclerc detailed Ferrari’s slow-speed plight, explaining that ironing out the drawback and optimizing it’s car’s balance will be a gradual process.

“I think the way our car works, we struggle a little bit too much with the balance of the car in long low-speed corners,” he said.

“So yeah, it’s just in these particular corners that our car, the way it’s designed, is not performing the way we want to.

“We have ideas already how to optimise our package in those situations and in a better way than what we’ve done in China, which was where we were struggling the most.

“But there’s still a lot of work to do, but I don’t think that the problem is to find the balance between high and low speed.

“I just think that even if we optimise the low speed, we wouldn’t be as good as a McLaren or a Red Bull. So there’s just work to do.”


Looking ahead at this weekend’s round of racing at the Circuit de Catalunya, Leclerc expects Red Bull to bounce back as the dominant force on a track that is unlikely to exacerbate the RB20’s struggles with excessive kerb abuse.

“My personal opinion is that we will see a stronger Red Bull and a Red Bull that we have seen at the beginning of the season back here in Barcelona,” he added.

“Just because the track layout normally, I would see a Red Bull going very fast around here, and I do also believe that the last four races from Miami to the last race in Canada was quite a lot about kerb riding as well and it’s probably not one of the strengths of the Red Bulls.

“So I believe we’ll see them back to a really good level this weekend.”

However, the Monegasque remains optimistic that Ferrari's upgrades will help the Scuderia further narrow the gap to its Red bull rival.

“We also have some new parts in the car for this weekend and if that helps us to be very close here it’s a good sign for the rest because normally Barcelona is quite representative for the rest of the season,” Leclerc said.

“So it’s going to be an interesting weekend and if we are in the fight here it’s a good sign for the rest of the year.”

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