Scuderia Ferrari’s golden boy, Charles Leclerc had a disappointing finish at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit this Sunday. After a blistering fast qualifying session that saw him come 2nd overall behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez. He was 12th on the starting grid owing to the electronic compartment breach due to a failure in the opening race of the season.
Ferrari, which was one of the two title contenders in the first leg of the previous season, seems to be drifting apart from the top of the league. In the previous race, Carlos Sainz finished just behind fellow Spaniard, Fernando Alonso in 4th position and the Monegasque, Leclerc suffered a DNF.
⚠️ | Charles Leclerc was frustrated after the Bahrain GP and asked for a meeting with Ferrari President John Elkann to discuss the situation.— Fastest Pitstop (@FastestPitStop) March 11, 2023
His contract with the Cavallino expires at the end of 2024 and there has been talk of Mercedes’ interest.
It is likely that Leclerc… https://t.co/Jg62jGf5S4
Leclerc told SkySports about his race “Once I got within a second and a half to Carlos, it was very difficult to get closer than that. The pace difference wasn’t big enough. I did a small mistake when I was within DRS, and then when I lost it, that was it.”
He said that he was helpless and that the car wasn’t up to the standards “I just stayed there. It’s like this. Honestly, I don’t think there was much more anyway in the car today. We just need to work to find some pace.” while also acknowledging the fact that he made a mistake in the DRS part.
He continued by saying that that was the maximum level the car could perform in the race. He also added that Ferrari needs “A lot, really a lot.” of work to improve their condition in the standings. Continuing, he mentioned that both the Red Bulls are in a league of their own because they are quicker at both corners and straights.
Charles Leclerc furious over the radio at Jeddah
After the chequered flag at Jeddah, Leclerc was found ranting to his race engineer “Being behind like this is really s**t. I don’t know what to do!”
BREAKING: Charles Leclerc to receive a grid penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix#SaudiArabianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/mYvk0RMPHE— Formula 1 (@F1) March 15, 2023
Previously, he was told to push because Hamilton had just pitted. Subsequently, he answered, “Xavi, you need to tell me that before!”.
The Monegasque’s title charge was hindered in 2022 by the incompetent Ferrari management headed by Mattia Binotto. But after a lot of commotion and Binotto’s firing, Ferrari finds itself victim to the same race administration blunders.
UPDATED STANDINGS— Formula 1 (@F1) March 19, 2023
Aston Martin and Mercedes draw level in the team standings after our points re-shuffle 👀#SaudiArabianGP pic.twitter.com/BoAmBrH4aX
The driver now stands in 8th place with 6 points in the WDC standings whereas his teammate, Carlos Sainz, stands 4th with 20 points. Ferrari stands in 4th place behind Red Bull, Aston Martin, and Mercedes in the WCC standings with 26 points.