Leclerc sees April break as an ‘opportunity’ for Ferrari as he highlights what the team need to focus on
Charles Leclerc insists that he and Ferrari are “fully motivated” to get their 2023 season moving in the right direction and hopes the gap between races in Australia and Azerbaijan will aid the team’s development push.
With four weeks separating rounds three and four, teams have an opportunity to take stock of their efforts so far and work on upgrade packages for their cars without the usual summer shutdown regulations applying.
After Ferrari’s challenging start to the new campaign, which has left the famous Italian outfit a distant fourth in the constructors’ standings and almost 100 points adrift of leaders Red Bull, Leclerc feels the break came at a good time.
“I think in the situation we are in as a team, we take this as an opportunity to work as much as possible during this break, in order to get upgrades as quickly as possible and be as competitive as we want sooner in this season,” said Leclerc.
“It’s still a very, very long season. We are fully motivated to get back on top and we’ll try to use these weeks [before Azerbaijan] in the best way possible.”
Leclerc’s return over the first three races of 2023 is in stark contrast to 2022, when he racked up two wins and a second-place finish to hold an early championship lead of 34 points – before his and Ferrari’s challenge unraveled.
Now he sits 10th in the drivers’ standings with just six points courtesy of his seventh-place finish in Saudi Arabia, having suffered a technical failure in Bahrain and retired again in Australia after a clash with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.
“We know the story about last year, and now it’s all about focusing on what we can do better to improve and to come back to their [Red Bull’s] level. We know where we need to work on and now we just need to make it happen,” continued the Monegasque.
Pushed to highlight the areas that Ferrari need to focus on, Leclerc added: “Honestly, it is just to try and have a more solid car in all the conditions.
“We seem to be quite good in terms of qualifying whenever the peak grip is there, but then whenever we lose a little bit of grip in the race, it starts to be very, very difficult, and we seem to lose quite a lot of performance, so on that we need to work.”