After the pre-season highlighted serious weaknesses of Ferrari’s 2020 car, the SF1000, Charles Leclerc admitted that his team could face a tough start to the 2020 season when the championship finally kicks off.
Although Ferrari was adamant to pose a serious threat to Mercedes, the sport’s dominant outfit, the Scuderia’s new car delivered disappointing results during winter testing. The fabled Italian outfit has made changes to its approach, putting more emphasis on the aerodynamics of its brand-new machine, but sacrificing its straight-line advantage that was the main strength of its last year’s car.
During a video interview from his Monaco apartment, Leclerc confirmed the general assessment after the pre-season testing which indicated that Ferrari’s current car, the SF1000 was lagging behind the race machines of its direct rivals, Mercedes and Red Bull. Although Ferrari was able to carry out an excellent in-season development work throughout 2019, he was unsure whether his team could replicate that given the current situation.
“I still believe we have been struggling a bit during testing so we need to catch up. Whether we will be able to or not I don’t know, but last year we had a good progression throughout the year. I think we need to keep working as we did last year and I’m pretty sure the results will come.“
“It’s going to be a difficult season for everyone because as soon as it starts it’s not going to stop and we won’t have any breaks to develop the car more than the others. So I think the work on track will be extremely important and more than it has been any other years because we will spend a lot of time on track whenever the season will restart.”
Engaged in the COVID-19 combat
With racing online, the 22-year-old has helped raise money for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. After missing the first race, the Monegasque has also taken part in the last two rounds of Formula 1’s Virtual GP, taken wins on both occasions. He currently leads the Standings in front of Alexander Albon.
Aside from taking part in different forms of sim racing, Leclerc has also been active in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Ferrari driver is an ambassador of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation with which he has engaged in the coronavirus combat in different forms in this unprecedented time when no races are taking place.
While the two-time GP winner assisted the Foundation in promoting its mask initiative earlier, he delivered meals to elderly people and helped transport equipment to the Princess Grace Hospital Centre this week.