Have Ferrari solved their biggest weakness of 2023?

Charles Leclerc notched Ferrari's third podium of the Formula 1 season at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix


Charles Leclerc had words to brighten every Ferrari fan’s day, saying he thinks the team have got on top of their biggest weakness since the new regulations were implemented in 2022.

Leclerc started first for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix and though he couldn’t hold off the rampant Red Bulls, he was able to comfortably secure just Ferrari‘s third podium of the season ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

The team struggled with tyre degradation in 2022 and that problem has been exacerbated in 2023, but following the Spa success Leclerc was asked whether he thinks Ferrari have solved the problem

“I think it’s a bit too early to say,” Leclerc told the media. “But it’s been two or three races where we’re managing our tyres better.

“I think today, this was definitely not the reason why we finished so far behind the Red Bull, I think they were just quicker. But in terms of tyre management, we didn’t have huge degradation.

“Looking at Mercedes behind I was in control of the pace, of my tyres, so it looked good. We still need to keep an eye on that because sometimes, especially in very specific conditions, we sometimes get off the right window of the tyres and then we struggle quite a lot.”

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc at 2023 Belgian GP Sprint | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Ferrari brought significant upgrades to the Austrian GP at the start of July, and track-specific front and rear wings to Spa after a busy period in Maranello.

Leclerc finished second in Austria and though Ferrari were well off the pace at Silverstone and the Hungaroring, that wasn’t so much down to tyre wear.

And on a Spa track that suited the SF-23’s strengths, Leclerc once again put it all together qualifying on pole once Max Verstappen took a gearbox penalty, before Ferrari netted nine points from the sprint race and 15 from his grand prix podium.

Hamilton stayed within a few seconds of Leclerc for the whole of his last stint at the Belgium GP but couldn’t make any significant inroads on the Ferrari and eventually abandoned the chase by pitting for the fastest lap.

It’s a huge improvement from the Spanish GP, where Carlos Sainz said he spent the whole race managing his tyres dropping from the front row to fifth.

Leclerc reveals plans for F1 summer break

Charles Leclerc is focussed in the Ferrari garage | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

It’s as good a time as any for Ferrari to pick up a trophy, providing some much-needed momentum going into the summer break.

There’s a four-week gap in racing before Formula 1 returns with the Dutch GP at the end of August, and factories must also shut down for a fortnight.

Asked if he’d be doing any other racing in his holidays, Leclerc said: “No racing for me, I’m around Monaco, Corsica and Sardinia, with my family and friends.”

Where is the next F1 2023 race?

F1 will return from its summer break with the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix from Zandvoort  on August 25-27, where championship leader Max Verstappen will be racing on home soil.

Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -


London E-Prix Results 2024 – Formula E Round 16

Pascal Wehrlein emerged victorious in one of the most dramatic races in Formula E history, securing his maiden Drivers'...

Max Verstappen escapes crash penalty: Blames Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen blames Lewis Hamilton for turning in too early for their Hungaroring crash on July 21 as the...

F1 Standings after 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix

Oscar Piastri secured his first Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix amid internal McLaren drama with...

Wehrlein wins 2024 Formula E title after gripping London E-Prix

An unbelievable end to the 2024 Formula E season saw Pascal Wehrlein crowned champion at the London E-Prix after...

Formula E 2024 LIVE: London E-Prix Finale – Wehrlein becomes champion after huge drama

Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com Formula E LIVE BLOG for Round 16 from the 2024 London E-Prix! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...

Norris blames McLaren for team orders debacle: Issues warning

Lando Norris blamed McLaren for the team orders chaos at the 2024 Hungarian GP as he waited until Lap...

F1 2024 Hungarian GP – Fastest Lap

George Russell set the fastest lap of the 2024 Hungarian GP with a 1:20.305 on a weekend when he...

Oscar Piastri Takes Debut F1 Victory at Hungarian GP Amid McLaren Drama

Oscar Piastri has clinched his first-ever Formula 1 victory at the 2024 Hungarian GP, after a dramatic race filled...

F1 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix – Race Results

The 2024 Hungarian Grand Prix race weekend took us through the midpoint of the Formula 1 season, and Oscar Piastri took the chequered flag to...

F1 LIVE: 2024 Hungarian GP – Piastri wins after Norris finally follows team orders

Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com F1 Live Blog for the 2024 Hungarian GP! This Sunday, we bring you real-time updates,...
- Advertisment -
Exit mobile version