Disappointed Charles Leclerc looking to new Ferrari direction after Dutch GP qualifying crash

It's not been a good weekend in Zandvoort for Leclerc or Ferrari

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Charles Leclerc is already looking ahead to 2024 after crashing his Ferrari in Qualifying for Sunday’s 2023 Dutch Grand Prix.

Following opening practice in Zandvoort, Ferrari‘s head of chassis, Enrico Cardile, admitted in the FIA press conference that their 2024 car would be a completely different concept from its 2023 challenger.

The change in direction comes after a disappointing season so far for the Scuderia, with Leclerc unable to challenge Max Verstappen for the world championship and yet to win in 2023.

“It’s great to hear that, and obviously, I can’t wait,” said Leclerc to selected media outlets, including Total-Motorsport.com. “First, I’ve got a season to finish, but we can only go another direction. 

“Because at the moment [in all] honesty, the car is really difficult to drive. It’s just very difficult to be on the limits we are particularly struggling with this weekend. 

“Even more so than what the balance would slow us down just because we need to be so far off the limits. Because as soon as you get close to the limits, you just really don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Enrico Cardile at 2023 Dutch GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Car extremely to drive with little grip on offer

After a miserable Dutch GP weekend for Ferrari, Leclerc didn’t help by blotting his copybook in Q3 after crashing into the wall at Turn 9, ending his participation early.

During Saturday’s FP3 session, Leclerc had struggled with the tricky conditions, going off track numerous times at Turn 1, fortunately without damaging his car. 

“It’s one of those weekends where the car is extremely difficult to drive,” said Leclerc. “Since FP1, we’ve been struggling in Turn 1, 9 and 10. 

“Nine and 10 is one of those corners where you go into the corner, you are releasing the brakes, there’s absolutely no grip in the corner.

“Then you’re just trusting the car and gripping again in the exit. At the moment, I’m getting into the corner, and I have zero idea whether I’m going to have huge understeer [or] huge oversteer. 

“That makes it very, very difficult for us. So yeah, it’s been a very difficult weekend.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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