Leclerc’s Caution on Ferrari’s Upgrades

Ferrari has brought a fresh batch of upgrades to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, with hopes of narrowing the gap with Red Bull, which currently enjoys an edge over the competition.

Charles Leclerc downplayed the immediate impact of Ferrari’s upgrades for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend. The team is set to introduce an upgrade package at its home round in Imola, following its debut during a filming day at Fiorano last week.

Despite Ferrari’s strong start to the 2024 season, including a victory at the Australian Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz and five additional podium finishes in the first six races, Red Bull remains the frontrunner. Leclerc expressed skepticism about the new parts’ ability to immediately bridge the gap.

“We did a filming day, but that was mostly for filming purposes,” Leclerc explained to the media. “So for now, we don’t really have real data yet.”

“I know that visually it’s a big change, but I would be careful [about] what you see visually to not get carried away and to not have false expectations.

“That wouldn’t be good for ourselves. It’s a step in the right direction, we believe, [but] it still needs to be confirmed. I’m confident that it is but how much of a step forward it is still remains to be seen.”

Leclerc expressed caution regarding the immediate assessment of the upgrades solely based on their performance at Imola.

“I don’t think we can judge in one weekend. In very few laps, we’ll understand whether the package is working as well as what we expected. But then we’ve got to see how it works on other tracks with other characteristics. That is really going to be what will tell us what the other part of the season will look like.”

The upgrades have undergone testing in Ferrari’s simulator, and Leclerc is optimistic that the positive outcomes will be reflected on the track.

“The upgrades are done in a way that they’ve been projected and thought about quite a long time ago,” he stated. “So it’s not like we can react to the first weaknesses of the car.

“However, it’s just to make it a much better car all around. That was the main target. It was mostly on the simulator where we could see the first data and feel the first few things which were small steps in the right direction. 

“Now it’s all to be seen whether in reality, we find the gains that we have seen on the simulator, which I which I hope we do.”