Charles Leclerc reveals Ferrari damage that forced retirement from Dutch GP

The Ferrari driver retired at Zandvoort on Lap 43

-

Charles Leclerc said that the damage causing him to retire from the Dutch Grand Prix was significant enough to leave his Ferrari car in a ‘different category’ to Formula 1.

The Monegasque also revealed that he sustained the damage on the opening lap, after suffering a bizarre absence of pace compared to his teammate, Carlos Sainz.

For the majority of the race, Leclerc languished in 15th place whilst Sainz was competing for a podium suggesting a problem with the car as the disparity between the drivers was so uncharacteristic.

It turned out that the 25-year-old sustained damage from the opening lap of the race that rendered his car totally uncompetitive.

“Already on the first lap we had the damage,” Leclerc said to media following the race, including Total-Motorsport.com. “I could feel much more than the guys were telling me on the radio.

“Initially I think it was five to 10 points [of downforce lost] but from what I’ve been told but obviously then we realised it was more than 60, and 60 is a different category. So after that, after the first lap, it was downhill.”

Leclerc also added that nobody was to blame for the opening lap contact. Therefore it was unfortunate for the driver that the damage was so significant.

“We were in wet conditions with slicks and it was such a light touch,” Leclerc added. “But it had huge consequences for my car so yeah, a shame.”

Why didn’t Leclerc retire earlier?

Leclerc did manage to still put up a fight with his broken car. Liam Lawson attempted to pass the Ferrari in the AlphaTauri, but due to the location of the DRS zones Leclerc was able to overtake the rookie back into Turn 1.

For the five-time race winner, that was as good as it got as before and after he was just overtaken by any car that managed to coast up to the back of his gearbox.

Despite the damage on the opening lap, he didn’t immediately retire as Ferrari anticipated that the wet conditions could open opportunities for the team.

“We were just waiting for some rain,” Leclerc added to the media, including Total-Motorsport.com. “It’s very tricky to drive a car with 60 points less in the rain but it also adds a lot of chaos.

“You can do something different to the others and maybe get one or two points, every point counts and we didn’t want to give up too early.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Should F1 adopt a football-style transfer window for drivers? Max Verstappen is the proof...

0
Formula 1 is unlike any other sport, and that's fine - the F1 purists thrive on its unique qualities....

What went wrong for Will Brown, Cam Waters in NASCAR Cup debuts

0
The NASCAR Cup Series had some Australian flavour Sunday when Supercars Championship stars Will Brown and Cameron Waters made...

What we learned from the 2024 Canadian GP

0
Max Verstappen returned to the top step of the podium after a terrible 2024 Monaco Grand Prix with an...
Norman Nato leads the field at the 2024 Shanghai E-Prix | Formula E

Formula E 2024-25 calendar announced for first Gen3 Evo season

0
Formula E have announced its provisional calendar for the 2024-25 season, which will be the first campaign for the...
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen aces huge Canadian GP test as Red Bull and Perez falter

0
While Lando Norris was frustrated with his team, George Russell committed a litany of errors and Lewis Hamilton lamented...

F1 risks repeating mistake with new 2026 regulations announcement

0
Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali unveiled the sport's much-heralded new era of racing in 2026 promising "a new generation...

F1 Winners and Losers of the 2024 Canadian GP

0
The dust settled on a barnstorming 2024 Canadian Grand Prix weekend with Max Verstappen returning to the top step...
George Russell at 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sebastian Kawka

George Russell mistakes exposed as Mercedes face major concern

0
George Russell may have started the Formula 1 2024 Canadian Grand Prix on pole position, yet there was a...
Race winner Max Verstappen and third placed George Russell of Mercedes during press conference after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Canadian GP 2024

0
The Formula 1 2024 Canadian Grand Prix promised to offer unpredictability with interchangeable weather and, for fans at the...
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen warns Red Bull teammate Perez: You can afford these one-offs… sometimes

0
Max Verstappen fired a warning shot to Sergio Perez just days after his teammate extended his Red Bull contract...
- Advertisment -