The Maranello squad has endured a troublesome 2023 marketing campaign the place its hopes of difficult for the championship shortly evaporated off the again of race struggles with its SF-23 automobile.
However, beneath new crew boss Vasseur, the squad has made a number of infrastructure changes and car tweaks that appear to have helped turn things around – with Leclerc again on the rostrum on the current Belgian Grand Prix.
Talking in an unique interview with Autosport, Leclerc mentioned that he was impressed with the way in which that Ferrari had responded to the early season challenges.
And he has singled out the way in which that Vasseur particularly has helped deal with the historic drawback of Ferrari being influenced an excessive amount of by exterior criticisms, particularly within the Italian media.
“I believe we created fairly a bubble with out being an excessive amount of influenced by what’s taking place outdoors, which is a very good factor,” defined Leclerc.
“I believe Fred was actually on board and understood immediately that the media might affect just a little bit the crew in some kind of how up to now, and this was one of many focuses initially of the 12 months.
“On that, we did steps ahead. So, I do not really feel prefer it’s any extra the case.
“In fact, there are some moments which can be difficult to handle, however this is similar for everyone within the paddock – though Ferrari is at all times a bit extra beneath the highlight.”
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23
Picture by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
The frustration of this season is nothing new to Leclerc, who additionally endured a troublesome time in 2020 when Ferrari additionally fell wanting its pre-season targets.
However he thinks issues are being handled significantly better now, as he’s clear that Ferrari has extra of an thought of the route it must go in than earlier than.
“All of us went via it with the entire crew in 2020, the place, clearly, the outcomes weren’t pretty much as good as what we had been anticipating initially of the season,” he mentioned.
“It’s troublesome. However I really feel that in these moments a very powerful factor is to at all times have a transparent route during which to work as a result of it’s extremely straightforward to lose just a little bit the trail each time issues aren’t going as you need.
“It fairly often would not come from just one factor, however it’s a number of issues that make a small distinction within the unsuitable route. And that you must pinpoint these issues and work on these issues solely; and never put every part in query. I imagine we now have completed job this time.”
He added: “In 2020, I felt prefer it was a bit tougher to seek out this path once more. However straightaway this 12 months, I felt like we had been on it. And we’re working in the correct route.”
Ferrari’s bid to get on prime of its 2023 troubles haven’t been easy, because it has been chasing a attribute quirk with its automobile moderately than an outright lack of tempo.
Dash pole winner Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari
Picture by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images
The SF-23 has proved to be super-fast in qualifying, with Leclerc having began from pole place twice this season. Nonetheless, an absence of consistency in its efficiency has triggered tyre degradation points which have usually left Leclerc and Carlos Sainz on the again foot in races.
Requested if finding out such a problem was tougher than merely simply discovering extra downforce, Leclerc mentioned: “It appears complicated.
“And, to be utterly sincere, you do the primary two races and you are like: ‘okay, that is unusual.’ As a result of we’re in qualifying, we’re actually fast, we arrive in a race and we wrestle rather a lot – and on the finish, the automobile is similar so we can not change the automobile.
“However then as quickly as we understood the 2/three issues that we needed to work on as a way to enhance principally race tempo, it was very clear what’s the route we have to take.
“It is taking time as a result of it takes time in F1, and it is not from at some point to the opposite which you could enhance. We have completed some steps ahead, however we have to do some others as a result of the street continues to be lengthy to catch Purple Bull again.”