Leclerc describes the challenges of heavier 2022 cars

Jon Wilde
Charles Leclerc during the Ferrari F1-75 shakedown. Fiorano February 2022.

Charles Leclerc during the shakedown of the Ferrari F1-75. Fiorano February 2022.

Charles Leclerc thinks the heavier weight of the 2022 cars means keeping them under control will be more difficult.

The Ferrari driver and his team-mate Carlos Sainz are preparing for their first significant running in the F1-75 at this week’s unofficial test in Barcelona.

Both will have one and a half days in the car at the Circuit de Catalunya and then the same again in Bahrain for the official test session from March 10-12.

As all of the Formula 1 cars are completely new in 2022 to comply with the heavily revised regulations, there should be some interesting action on track – not that we will get to see that much of it in Barcelona as coverage is being stringently restricted.

Of course, the drivers have gleaned some idea of what to expect as a result of their time in the simulator, and Leclerc’s impression is the extra weight has made the new cars more of a handful for the men behind the wheel.

“The cars are much heavier than last year and that makes it trickier when you lose control,” said the 24-year-old from Monaco, quoted by Speedweek. “You feel the extra weight and it’s harder to get the car back under control.

“It also feels different on the brakes. You have to re-test the limits of the car and that makes it harder to drive. I think once we get more experience kilometres in testing, that won’t be an issue.

“But as with any new car, and especially with a completely new car like this year, it’s a bit more difficult at the beginning.”


Much is unknown at this stage about how effectively the new cars will be able to follow rivals and overtake – which is the aim of the revised regulations – and of how competitive the F1-75 will be.

“We have got to know the car extensively in the simulator,” added Leclerc. “But at the moment it’s hard to say how well you can chase an opponent with it and how it will perform compared to last year’s Ferrari. We will have to wait and see.

“We have been working on this car for a very long time and I could see how good the work was that was put in. That makes me feel very positive.

“But of course you don’t know where you stand until the first qualifying. The feeling is definitely good and everyone in the team is extremely motivated. I can’t wait to drive this beautiful car.”


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