Leclerc: We expected a difficult weekend, but not to that extent

Leclerc: We expected a difficult weekend, but not to that extent

Leclerc: We expected a difficult weekend, but not to that extent

Charles Leclerc revealed Ferrari were braced for a tough British Grand Prix weekend, but it turned out to be even worse than the team expected.

After finishing second to Max Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc plummeted to ninth last weekend at Silverstone, as the Scuderia struggled for pace, falling behind Mercedes, Aston Martin, McLaren, and even the Williams of Alex Albon.

During the race, it didn’t matter what compound of tyres the Scuderia bolted on the SF-23, as the result was the same, lack of pace which saw Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz finish at the bottom of the top ten.

“Coming into the weekend I think we expected a difficult weekend but definitely not to that extent,” Leclerc told Sky Sports F1, admitting Ferrari foresaw the difficulties.

“In Qualifying it was a bit better than what we expected, in the race I would say it was a bit worse than what we expected, so we need to work on that.

No degradation, but no pace as well

“We didn’t have much degradation, just the pace of the car wasn’t there. We were struggling in the first part of the race – on the first stint Mercedes and McLaren were really quick, Mercedes on the softs with George Russell was very fast,” he explained.

“I managed to keep him behind and then I don’t know what happened, I don’t know why we [pitted] so early but I don’t have the full picture on that.

“That put us on the back foot because everyone else continued a lot on the medium [tyre] that didn’t have much degradation,” Leclerc pointed out. “I tried to stay pretty much at the same lap times that the guys were still out on the old medium to then push once they stopped, but then they stopped during the Safety Car and gained all the positions. Not the greatest race today.

“I was trying to attack with the new medium [after the Safety Car] but Alex [Albon] had the DRS on the car in front so it was impossible for me to make a move,” the Monegasque lamented.

Leclerc’s result at the British Grand Prix means he is now seventh in the 2023 F1 Drivers’ Championship.