FIA announce verdict after Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari subject to additional Japanese GP inspections

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc's Ferrari at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc's Ferrari.

The FIA has confirmed that Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari was chosen at random for “more extensive physical inspections” after the Japanese Grand Prix.

Leclerc left himself with a lot of work to do at Suzuka after qualifying only P8 – leading him to reflect on his one-lap efforts as a weakness which he must fix – though race day was a far better experience as he recovered to a P4 finish, while Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz completed the podium in third.

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari SF-24 passes FIA inspections

Post-race scrutineering of the Formula 1 cars from the FIA takes place at each round to ensure that teams are adhering to the regulations, though periodically they will chose a car at random to carry out deeper inspections.

Max Verstappen’s Red Bull RB20 was chosen after he drove it to Saudi Arabian Grand Prix victory, with Leclerc’s Ferrari SF-24 the subject of closer FIA attention after the Japanese Grand Prix.

Like Verstappen’s Red Bull, Leclerc’s Ferrari also passed with flying colours.

“After the race of the Japanese GP, car number 16 was randomly chosen among the top ten cars for more extensive physical inspections,” the FIA confirmed.

“Subject to these physical inspections were the central floor flexibility, the rear wing mainplane flexibility, the rear wing flap flexibility, rear wing mainplane trailing edge flexibility, the rear wing endplate flexibility and the plank assembly including the skid thickness.

“All inspected components were found to be in conformance with the 2024 Formula One Technical Regulations.” recommends

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Ferrari are the only team to deny Red Bull a one-two finish so far in F1 2024, Sainz having taken an impressive victory in Australia as Leclerc followed him across the line.

However, hopes that Ferrari had reeled the dominant Austrian outfit in – rather than Verstappen’s brake-related DNF opening the door – were dented by a third Red Bull one-two in four races at Suzuka.

As the teams prepare to return to China’s Shanghai International Circuit for the first time since 2019, Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur has warned Red Bull that his team are yet to exploit the full performance of the SF-24 in its current form.

“For sure you have to improve the speed of the car, bring upgrades, but I think so far we did not extract the best from the car,” Vasseur told Channel 4.

“We are still doing some mistakes during the weekend and the first focus is to be able to get the best from what you have. Then, we’ll have time to improve the car.”

Red Bull top the F1 2024 Constructors’ Championship with a lead of 21 points over Ferrari going into the Chinese Grand Prix.

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