Leclerc on Ferrari´s SF-23: “From the work we’ve done, I think we are going in the right direction”

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By Patricia Gomez Tarquini

Charles Leclerc believes the SF-23 is heading in the right direction ahead of the first pre-season tests.

Last Tuesday Ferrari introduced their new car for the season 2023 with which they will try to end a 16-year run without winning any championships. Expectations are high in Maranello after Fred Vasseur´s arrival and fans are eager to learn more about the SF-23.

Charles Leclerc, who had the chance to drive two laps at Fiorano´s launch event, said it´s difficult to judge the car with only two laps. However, he explained to media outlets at Maranello that the new car feels different.

“It feels good, it feels a little bit different but, to be honest, it’s difficult, especially on track now, to really feel the differences because [there were] only two laps not pushing that much.”

Explaining that he tried to get the maximum of the brief encounter with his new car he believes the Scuderia is heading into the right direction.

“I tried too but obviously with demo tires it’s difficult to get a proper feeling. But, from the work we’ve done, I think we are going in the right direction.”

On the work done before the launch, Leclerc explained the analysis of the SF-23 predecessor´s weaknesses and says there was positive feedback from the simulator.

However, the Monegasque remains cautious and vows to wait until Bahrain tests to give his verdict.

“We took a lot of the 2022 car weaknesses and tried to work on them. Especially on the simulator and had some really positive signs. But we still need to wait until probably the test in Bahrain in order to push the car for consecutive laps to see whether this progress is also valid in reality.”

Last year started on a positive note for the Maranello-based squad. However, the hopes faded away as Red Bull started to gain momentum and ran away with it.

Without going into the specifics of last year drawbacks,.Leclerc believes improving the balance of the car was one of the main issues they have worked on to improve for the upcoming season.

“Let’s say that the car balance last year was quite open, in a way, from low-speed to high-speed corners. Then, going into the specifics of that I won’t go. But, we’ve been working on that to try and put the balance closer together from the low-speed to the high-speed.”

The feedback they got from the simulator seemed positive. However, Leclerc remains cautious, knowing very well that is at the race track where truth will be found.

“And on the simulator, it seems good. There was also some development mostly for the race this will have to wait and see in Bahrain because obviously on the simulator it’s very difficult to reproduce that.”

Image: Scuderia Ferrari