Leclerc: “There are still quite a few steps to make” with the SF-23 after difficult race for Ferrari

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Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Charles Leclerc’s frustration was evident in speaking with the press after the British Grand Prix, a race in which he fell from fourth on the grid to a ninth place finish as Ferrari was jumped in the order by McLaren on Saturday and then Mercedes on Sunday.

Leclerc maintained P4 in the opening stint before a bizarre call by his team to pit him early. The Monegasque on mediums was managing to hold off Russell on softs as the C3 tyre showed almost no deg.

Nonetheless, a fundamental lack of pace held the Scuderia back on Sunday.

“We just didn’t have pace. It’s not like we degraded the tires more than others, it’s just that Mercedes and McLaren were stronger than us. I managed to keep George behind for the first part of the race, then I think we pitted before George to beat the undercutters, but that was too early.“

The pit stop came on lap 19, well before the rest of the pit stops from the cars around him, and when a safety car came out on lap 35, Leclerc was in tenth, still trying to work up the field after boxing for mediums during the stoppage to retrieve Magnussen’s car. He had been easily passed by Russell just before the safety car came out.

After the race he emphasised that Ferrari were going to have an uphill battle at Silverstone.

“This is very difficult to understand, but we know that this track was going to be one of our worst tracks, just because of the high-speed corners. This is one of the weaknesses of the car.

“In the race we have been struggling a lot, and mostly in high-speed corners. So I believe that we know why we are struggling. It’s clear for us that we are pushing a lot on the development, especially for these high-speed corners, and hopefully it will be better.“

The weather was also a factor—not the rain that never quite materialized, but it was a windy day at Silverstone.

“When we have a change of wind, our car becomes extremely difficult. On that we have made steps forward, but there are still quite a few steps to make.”

With two weeks until the season resumes in Budapest, the Scuderia will have some time to figure out how to make those steps forward.