Charles Leclerc has said he struggled with confidence in the balance of his Ferrari during the 2023 Spanish GP due to the car’s puzzling tyre management.
Leclerc finished out of the points in 11th in Barcelona, after starting from the pit lane following a disappointing early exit from qualifying in 19th.
After the Saturday session, the driver said that the team were unsure as to why his car had shown such a steep drop-off in performance, with grip and tyre performance inconsistent across different laps.
Speaking to select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com, after the race, Leclerc said that there was very little grip from the hard tyre, and that the team needed to get a grip on their tyre performance and graining if they are to climb further up the grid.
“We had the hard, which we expected to be a good tyre. But for some reason it was so bad, like no grip at all, especially from the front. The limitations were completely different to qualifying,” Leclerc said.
“So today was expected… But then for some reason, the second half, (we did) exactly the same thing, and it feels really good. So yeah, for some reason, we seem to never really get in the right window, the tyre. And when we do, it’s a bit of a surprise to us.
“So there’s a lot of work we need to do.”
‘Understeering like crazy’
Leclerc said that he struggled with understeer throughout the race, and that the tyre performance was just one aspect of the car which the team had to improve.
“The temperature didn’t come, then the temperature came. But also the graining came more than the temperature. So it was just understeering like crazy,” Leclerc said.
“But still, overall, I mean, the reality is, we are lacking a lot of performance, especially in the race.”
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
With the F1 circus finished in Spain, the next race is the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix which will be held at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal over the weekend of June 16-18.