Charles Leclerc’s career with Ferrari was off to a good start in 2019. However, The team’s performance has not been at the level it should be since then.
Over the last 3 years, Ferrari has not been able to provide Charles Leclerc with a car that is fast and reliable enough to win a Championship. Although Ferrari and Leclerc looked strong at the start of the 2022 season, the team faced reliability issues forcing them to turn down the engine.
Charles Leclerc’s awful luck in 2023:
🇧🇭 DNF (engine) from P3
🇸🇦 Grid penalty (engine) from P2
🇦🇺 DNF (racing incident)
🇺🇸 Undriveable car in the race
🇲🇨 Grid penalty (impeding, stewards concluded it was not his fault)
🇪🇸 Undriveable car in quali
Hoping for better today 🙏 pic.twitter.com/19tWS69ple
— Ferrari News 🐎 (@FanaticsFerrari) June 4, 2023
Ferrari was caught lagging at the start of the 2023 season. Since then the team and drivers have been on a mission to develop the car into a Championship contender. Charles Leclerc is so far having a disappointing season. Most recently, he was knocked out in Q1 at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Why was Charles Leclerc knocked out in Q1?
According to reports, Ferrari is still yet to understand why Charles Leclerc was lacking pace. His teammate, Carlos Sainz qualified P2 alongside Max Verstappen in the front row. The team suspects that the car has issues with the hybrid system or the electrical supply, but is unable to determine.
.@motorsport_IT: charles’ SF-23 had no set-up or tire temperature problems. the problem could be in the electricity supply of the hybrid system. it could be decided to replace all possible parts and start from the pitlane.#spanishGP pic.twitter.com/ZZPYEAEyQU
— leclerc data (@leclercdata) June 4, 2023
Ferrari is taking a more cautious route with Charles for the race by making him start from the pit lane. They will be replacing the gearbox in the car.
Although the team and Charles Leclerc believe that there was an issue with the car, fans don’t buy it. Certain fans believe that Charles lacked confidence in the SF-23. Before the Qualifying session started, there was a bit of rain during the Formula 2 Sprint race. Certain parts of the track were still wet when Qualifying started. So the drivers went out on track in developing track conditions.
🚨BREAKING: Charles Leclerc will start today’s race from the pit lane
Ferrari’s Jock Clear: “We’ve taken the opportunity to change the gearbox, that’s effectively all the backend, really to make sure there’s nothing on there that is untoward.”
— Fastest Pitstop (@FastestPitStop) June 4, 2023
A majority of the drivers put in their fastest time during the last few seconds of the Q1 session. Unfortunately, Charles found himself in the bottom 5 at the end of Q1. He was unable to post a lap that was fast enough. Fans suspect that Charles was not confident enough to push the car to its limits. These fans believe that Ferrari is just making excuses for their poster boy.
Remember when ferrari said Sainz wasn’t good enough yet he has been a cornerstone of their ability to stay up (every time Charles has a “silly little crash”)
— L (@Jeanpills) June 3, 2023
— HermanBeukes (@HermanBeukes) June 3, 2023
Leclerc has been too much overrated by everyone, we’ve seen too much times that he’s not as good as Max and he’s not a future WC
— Aymeric (@Aymeric65710) June 3, 2023
It is unlikely that Charles will be a contender for the Championship this season. Right now, Carlos Sainz looks like the more reliable option for Ferrari. Charles is currently involved in contract extension talks with Ferrari. His contract is set to end after the 2024 season. Based on recent performances, Ferrari might choose to look elsewhere to replace Charles Leclerc.