Charles Leclerc says with a full year of experience at Ferrari both he and the team have a greater understanding on what he wants from its 2020 Formula 1 car, with a particular focus on finding a comfortable balance in its setup.

Heading into his third season in F1 and second year at Ferrari, Leclerc is eager to play a key role within the development of its 2020 F1 car in order to find the full potential across pre-season testing and the opening races.

While Leclerc appreciates the design work is led by Ferrari’s engineering heads, he feels F1 drivers can provide greater understanding and influence when setting up a car and finding optimum balance for each drivers’ preferences. Last season’s Ferrari SF90 had a predominately looser rear than its predecessor SF71H which appeared to offer a balance less suited by Sebastian Vettel compared to his teammate Leclerc.

“On the direction of the car design it is more about the balance that you want,” Leclerc said at the Autosport International show during a fan Q&A.

“Different drivers have their preferences in balance, whether they want a more oversteering car or more understeering car, and now the team knows me a little bit better they know what I want from the car so they try to build the car around that so we can find that balance.

“Then we change the last details with the setup and the freedom that we have with the setup of the car. On the car design itself we don’t have much influence but mostly it is on the balance which depends on different drivers.

“In aerodynamics or balance coming through the corner, or you change the level of aerodynamics you have on the car, so high downforce or low downforce but this is more down to the engineers to change that. It is more down to the driver’s feeling with the balance of the car.”

Fresh from signing a new five-year Ferrari deal, Leclerc will be aiming to build on his solid first year at the Scuderia which saw him beat Vettel to fourth place in the F1 world drivers' standings.

 

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