Charles Leclerc reveal sparks concern of latest false dawn for Ferrari

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc arrives in the paddock. Barcelona June 2023.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc arrives at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Spain June 2023.

Charles Leclerc is urging great caution regarding Ferrari’s improved race showing in Canada, claiming tyre management was not an issue there.

As Haas team boss Guenther Steiner has recently alluded to, they and technical partner Ferrari both seem to be struggling in a major way when it comes to nursing their tyres through race stints.

But, while Haas’ struggles continued in the Canada race, Ferrari meanwhile delivered a solid display as Leclerc and Carlos Sainz rose from P10 and P11 respectively on the grid to P4 and P5 finishes, both comfortably having the beating of Sergio Perez who was on a similar recovery mission in the dominant Red Bull RB19.

Charles Leclerc warns Canada perfect storm for Ferrari

Leclerc though is not getting too excited yet that this is a sign Ferrari are back on form, the team having unveiled a major upgrade package for their SF-23 at the previous round in Spain.

With track temperatures on the cool side in Montreal and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve not known as a track which punishes the Pirelli rubber, Leclerc will wait to see what unfolds at the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix before making a judgement.

On the subject of Ferrari’s apparent improved tyre management, Leclerc told “I would be careful saying that because I felt like tyre management today wasn’t a big thing for anybody.

“It felt good. But again, this track is very particular, so I will wait before Austria to hopefully confirm what we felt this weekend.” recommends

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Sainz also spoke of how the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was a track which suited Ferrari, allowing them to “show our true pace”, meaning he regretted not having the opportunity to start further up the field, having dropped three places on the grid for impeding.

Like Leclerc though, he now looks to the races ahead to see whether Ferrari can continue this momentum through the high-speed Red Bull Ring and Silverstone rounds.

“I knew Canada was going to be a better track and it was confirmed on Friday pace already,” he said.

“We just confirmed that at a lower deg circuit, also lower speed corners, which we know we are stronger at. And today we could show a bit more our true pace.

“It felt like we would have had fun there at the front if we would have started a bit more upfront. But solid pace, solid strategy also.

“Let’s see how the higher speed circuits are, going back to Austria, Silverstone next.”

Red Bull wary of Ferrari on home soil

It was an eighth win out of eight for Red Bull in Canada as their dominant start to F1 2023 rolls on, though Max Verstappen’s usual margin of victory was far reduced there, taking the chequered flag nine-and-a-half seconds ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has said already that Ferrari did them a huge favour in Canada by starting out of position, believing Ferrari actually had the fastest car, so if Leclerc starts the Austrian Grand Prix in the top four, he expects Red Bull’s unbeaten F1 2023 streak to be seriously tested.

“What got lost a bit in Montreal: Ferrari had the fastest car,” Marko told oe24.

“The Red Bull Ring suits them. If Leclerc starts from row one or two, it won’t be a big Oktoberfest for Max.”

Red Bull have already put clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack in the Constructors’ standings, with Ferrari in P4 199 points behind.