Leclerc left baffled by Ferrari race pace fluctuation
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was baffled by the behavior of his team's SF1000, which he explained has lost race pace since this season's start.
In the world of F1, some things are just beautifully compatible; they gel. And in the case of last weekend's Tuscan GP, drivers and teams were left to see to what extent their cars were suited to the track of Mugello, and the answers varied.
For Mercedes, the track was to their liking, as it was for many mid-field F1 teams, with the notable exception being Ferrari. As much as they expected it to, their car couldn't gel with Mugello, even though it was better than Spa and Monza, at least.
Nonetheless, Leclerc mustered up the strength to put his Ferrari third, before being passed by Racing Point's Lance Stroll. The Canadian proved the first of many to make it past the Monegasque, who ended the race in ninth before being promoted to eighth.
Leclerc expressed confusion over the matter of Ferrari's strange pace fluctuations. "We were just slow," he said. "I didn't have the pace, we did a good start, I put myself in the best position, I had Mercedes that were going away and I had free air.
"But there was just no pace. Lots of things happened in the race, but one thing hasn’t changed, which is that we have to work hard to improve our performance. The race itself was quite fun. I was happy every time there was a standing start because it was an opportunity for us to try and fight for positions.
"The car was quite difficult to drive, especially on the Hard tyres. Towards the end it became a bit better on the Softs, but overall, it’s very tough at the moment. Also, we need to understand because some races we weren't competitive in qualifying but we were better in race, which was mostly at the beginning of the season, now we seem to do better in qualifying but losing massively in the race, so it is a difficult moment," summed up Leclerc.
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]