Formula 1 | Leclerc explains Ferrari’s ups and downs against Red Bull

Charles Leclerc previews the 2022 season at Ferrari. On paper, finishing runner-up after an average year (2020) and then recovering (2021) may seem like a very good result.

But his Ferrari F1-75 proved immediately competitive and reliable (at first), which logically gave the Monegasque, his team and all the Scuderia’s fans other hopes.

“I believed it until the end of the season. You have to believe it. Red Bull had some progress in the first races, which put them a bit ahead of us. But we were more reliable. The frustrating part was when we agreed. evolution and having the fastest car that we were. The new parts in Barcelona really pushed us forward. The engine failed in Barcelona. We made a mistake in strategy in Monaco. Engine failure “Next came Baku. Then engine penalty Canada. He came back. We had the pace to win races, but we just didn’t get it. It was hard to accept.”

Ferrari initially had a wider window, being cautious with its tyres. But in the middle of the season, it was also in favor of Red Bull…

“We definitely improved our car. I think Red Bull took a step forward for some reason, especially after the summer break. Especially with Max, not so much with Sergio. In the second part of the season they were very, very fast, especially in the race.”

Ferrari’s multiple pole positions showed that the pace was good. Tire wear has really gotten worse. What happened after the summer break at Spa-Francorchamps?

“If you don’t have the speed, you have to push harder as a driver. It increases the wear on the tires. From my point of view, it’s more because we didn’t have the pace we expected compared to the Red. Bull. The indirect result is that you have a higher there is tire degradation. We had a better race car compared to earlier in the season. It allowed us to handle the races to our liking.”

Red Bull had a very fast car on the straights. Has this sometimes led Ferrari to make unwanted compromises in setup?

“They are really strong on the straights. At the beginning of the season we were able to make up the deficit because we were faster in the corners. Then they went into the corners and were just faster than us. Together. But again, I think the biggest problem was tire wear. We had a perfect race on Sunday. We weren’t good enough to do, for example in terms of strategy. We created a sub-optimal situation, which forced us to do a lot of things. For example, long-term tire work. We have to work on improving our performance on race Sundays.”

And to add, to drive the point home: “Looking at the whole season, I think we had the performance to compete for the title. We didn’t have it.”

Where was Ferrari better and therefore where was Red Bull?

“I think we are very strong in the medium and fast corners. In the slow corners, there have been ups and downs throughout the season. In the flat and slow corners, Red Bull probably has the advantage. Many factors explained this situation. -yo.”

Porpoising was there initially, but it didn’t limit the Ferrari’s performance. It seemed more difficult than Belgium. Did Ferrari lose time due to the technical directive?

“We don’t think so. There’s a temporal connection between the presentation and the loss of speed. But to be honest, we don’t think it has anything to do with it. We think Red Bull brought some games to Spa. It made them faster. Especially when you compare it to other teams. It’s not that we’re slower than them. It’s just that Red Bull is faster.”

Leclerc went winless for two years with Ferrari in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, he returned to winning ways. So in the end, because there is clear progress, should we see everything as a positive, a success? Or is it a failure because the championship is not over?

“I’m right in the middle. Part of it is looking at the big picture. We’ve taken a big step from 2021 to this season. We’ve done an amazing job in terms of performance. I don’t think so. A lot of people believed we were capable of fighting for wins.”

“On the other hand, it’s disappointing because we had the performance in the car to win more races. But we’re still focused on improving. We’ve used the last races to improve and prepare better for next season. The car is as good as this year so it’s all the way to the championship.” let’s fight.”

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