What Leclerc made of “very different” 2022 Ferrari F1 car

Charles Leclerc says Ferrari’s 2022 Formula 1 car feels “very different” after revealing that he has driven an early version of next year’s car on the simulator.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-21.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-21.
© xpbimages.com

F1 teams are preparing for one of the biggest regulation overhauls in the championship’s history when a brand new car is introduced for next season as part of a rules revolution.

The 2022 cars are set to provide drivers with a different challenge given they will be heavier, use ground effect, and race on 18-inch tyres as F1 looks to produce cars that make it easier to follow and race others.

Asked whether Ferrari’s drivers had been given an opportunity to try out a simulated version of the 2022 car, Leclerc confirmed: “Yes we did. But it’s still very, very early days.

“It feels very different. Then I think it’s a question mark for everyone whether we are developing well or not. As I was saying, it’s such a different project.

“It’s very, very early days, so nobody knows where we are positioning ourselves compared to the others. But we are working on it.”

Ferrari is hoping to capitalise on the dramatic regulation changes and return to winning ways in 2022 after enduring its worst season in four decades last year.

The Italian outfit has enjoyed a competitive resurgence this season and scored two pole positions, though it does not appear to be in a position to fight for victories or the world championship just yet.

And Leclerc said both he and teammate Carlos Sainz have been putting in early preparation work for 2022 in a bid to hit the ground running.

“It’s difficult because for now it’s only numbers and and predictions, but we can definitely give our feedback, especially in the simulator,” he explained.

“[We’re lucky] to have a very good simulator in Ferrari and we can try different things on that simulator and there, the driver input is very, very important.

“Then on other things for now, it’s very early days for us to actually say something. The only thing we can do is to try and work in the best way possible with Carlos to try and explain what are the weaknesses of this year’s car, try to understand why we have those weaknesses and try to not reproduce those mistakes for next year’s car. Even though the project is completely different.

“So I will say on the simulator, we’ve got quite a big input and we can help a lot. And with this year’s feedback to try and help the team to work in the right direction and for them to know exactly what we need to go quick.”

Read More