Charles Leclerc said he is hopeful of scoring a podium at 2023’s Italian Grand Prix as he expects Ferrari to be more competitive around the Monza circuit.
Ferrari have been inconsistent in 2023, ranging from second fastest to sometimes fifth fastest out of Formula 1’s 10 teams.
The pattern appears to be that when the circuit requires less downforce, Ferrari are more competitive as they showed in Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Austria and Belgium and Leclerc managed to collect a podium at three of the four circuits, suffering a retirement in Bahrain whilst running second.
Monza requires the least downforce of the F1 calendar and averages the highest speed around the circuit, proving to be more in-line with the track type that Ferrari appears to be strong at, and Leclerc is feeling hopeful.
“It’s not exactly like Spa,” Leclerc said to media including Total-Motorsport.com ahead of the Italian Grand Prix weekend. “But the track characteristics are closer to the ones of Spa than Zandvoort and Budapest, so we should be a bit more competitive here.
“Whether it will be enough or not to fight for the podium, I don’t know but I really hope so and we’ll do everything for it for sure.”
The SF-23 appears to be very unpredictable and inconsistent, with Leclerc previously noting that the car has a tendency to oversteer and understeer in the same corners and ahead of the Prancing Horse’s home race, he re-confirmed those problems.
“The unpredictability, especially on trucks where we have a bit more downforce, becomes really extremely tricky to drive,” Leclerc said.
“We’ve got big changes of balance throughout the same corner and as a driver is very difficult to get into a corner and not really knowing what balance you’re going to get.”
The Monegasque also noted that Ferrari used the Dutch GP practice sessions in order to gather data and information on how the car behaves and what it likes.
“We tried quite a few things, especially in FP1,” Leclerc continued. We tried to put the car in very different places in terms of setup, to see how it will react.
“I think we had some confirmation of what we expected, so we’ve got a lot of work to do now and find the solutions to our problems.”