Leclerc: Ferrari already working on first SF-24 upgrades

29 Feb, 2024

On the eve of the start of the first weekend of the season in Bahrain, Charles Leclerc offered an overall look at how Ferrari approaches the weekend in Sakhir. He also gave a more long-term perspective on the team’s outlook for the 2024 season.

The Monegasque spoke both from a personal point of view, but also from a team perspective. He also commented on what he observed during the winter break.

Leclerc: “I knew about Hamilton’s possibility before the renewal. In the factory already focused on the development of the SF-24″

Unsurprisingly, Ferrari’s acquisition of Lewis Hamilton is one of the biggest stories in Formula 1 history.

It’s not something I imagined could happen; it was a surprise,” commented the Monegasque.

“Before it was announced, I knew there were discussions and that it was a possibility. But I still have a year to go with Carlos.

“And I need to focus on this year maximizing our opportunities to try to get back to the top. Then I’ll start focusing on the rest,” Leclerc said on Thursday in Sakhir.

Leclerc, on Thursday in Sakhir, therefore, reiterated what he said in the pre-season. Since the Scuderia’s pre-season launch, he has been consistent in paying respect to his current teammate.

The focus of the Monegasque is therefore completely focused on the weekend, which begins with decidedly better prospects than what happened twelve months ago:

“Last year, it was very difficult to identify what the main weak points of the car were because the car was so inconsistent that it was complicated to extract something from it.

“This year, we know exactly what areas we need to work on. In the factory they have already been focused since last week on the points that we need to improve for the next few months, which bodes well for future developments.”

Ferrari

Therefore, there are much more encouraging prospects. However, this does not take away from the challenge Ferrari will take. This is especially true for Red Bull, who remain the benchmark.

Leclerc believes it won’t take too long to assess where the Maranello-based team is in the pecking order:

“I’m pretty sure that after the first race, we’ll understand what we’ll be fighting for this year.

“The main question mark is related to our overall competitiveness and our exact position. But that is something very difficult to answer now.”

Inevitably, uncertainties still remain. External variables such as wind conditions will also cause drivers havoc this weekend.

Charles Leclerc: “I renewed with Ferrari because I trust them”

“If we can put them under a little more pressure. We can play a little more with the strategy and force them to make mistakes.

“This will definitely be a lot more interesting than last year when we were far away everywhere.”

This statement shows a fair amount of optimism on the performance front, as well as the result of work in testing, which found good feedback from the driver’s side.

2024 will be the first year that will have the complete signature of Frédéric Vasseur since last year’s car was the child of Binotto management.

The Monegasque spoke about the imprint of the French team principal, with whom he has had a very close relationship since his time in the minor categories.

A factor that has given him and continues to give him great confidence in the future; one of the reasons, in addition to his love for Ferrari, that pushed Leclerc to sign the renewal with the Cavallino last January.

“As much as I am in love with Ferrari, and I think this is well known, it was important for me to sign for a team I trust.”

Sensations that allow Charles to start the season with a smile because if, on the one hand, it is true that there are still many question marks on the eve of the start of the season, on the other side of the coin, we can see encouraging prospects on several fronts.

Author: Loris Preziosa

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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