Charles Leclerc has expressed confidence that Ferrari’s latest SF-24 model marks a significant improvement over its 2023 version, drawing on his experiences using the team’s simulator.
The 2024 model of the Ferrari was revealed during a digital event on Tuesday, which was immediately followed by a preliminary test drive at Fiorano.
In the previous season, Ferrari stood out as the sole team to clinch a victory over Red Bull, with Carlos Sainz achieving a win in Singapore.
With ambitions of consistently challenging the current world champions, Ferrari has devoted substantial effort into developing a 2024 car that not only performs better but is also more driver-friendly.
Leclerc’s initial reaction to the new Ferrari model was positive, yet he acknowledges that only real-world track performance can truly determine the car’s competitiveness.
“On the simulator, the feeling is good,” commented Leclerc. “The car is definitely a step forward compared to last year.
“We’ve been focusing on the main weaknesses we had last year as we do every year and for now the car on the simulator has been reacting extremely well.
“There’s obviously another important part to all of this is how much it correlates to, then, the real car once we put it in Bahrain for the first time on the track.
“This will be a crucial moment that will tell us whether we did a good job for this season. But until now, so far so good and everything we’ve tested on the simulator was positive.”
Ferrari’s vehicle last year was known for its rapid pace in individual laps, but its erratic aerodynamics and a high sensitivity to varying race conditions frequently hampered the performances of Leclerc and Sainz during competitions.
“I think the main area where we had to work on was the sensitivity to the change of conditions,” said Leclerc.
“We had a very peaky car last year where it was very strong whenever we had all the perfect conditions but whenever one of these factors, whether it’s temperature, wind speed, force or direction, it will have a huge impact on our car.
“This we wanted to change for this car to make it better and easier to drive, as it was very difficult whenever it was windy conditions and this is something that I would like to see change for this year.”