Charles Leclerc: New SF-24 Ferrari feels 'healthier'

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has expressed optimism about the performance of the team's SF-24 car following its first shakedown run.

The Ferrari team conducted the shakedown at the Fiorano circuit, where both Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz were given the opportunity to complete three laps each in Ferrari's 2024 challenger.

Team Principal Fred Vasseur noted significant changes in the new SF-24, suggesting a 95% overhaul compared to its predecessor.

Leclerc's sentiments contrast with his concerns about the SF-23 during its shakedown in 2023. Despite initial worries, Ferrari managed to secure third place in the Constructors' Championship, narrowly missing out on second to Mercedes by a mere three points.

Addressing the media after the shakedown, Leclerc highlighted a noticeable difference in the feeling of the SF-24 compared to its predecessor, indicating that the team is in a "better place" with the new car. 

However, he refrained from making premature judgments about its competitiveness until further testing and evaluation are conducted.

"I remember that after the first lap last year, or it was the first three [or] four laps, I wasn't really happy with the behaviour of the car," said Leclerc, as quoted by Planet F1.

"The car was very, very difficult to drive. This year, the car feels healthier and in a better place.

"On the other hand, and I want to push on the point, that doesn't mean anything on the competitiveness of the car because if other teams have done bigger steps forward in terms of lap time gains, then it can be an easier car to drive, but if it's not fast enough, it won't be fast enough on track.

"So in terms of competitiveness, it's very difficult [to say]. In terms of actual feeling of the very first laps, I will say I've had a better feeling this year than I did last year."

READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton: Final Mercedes car launch a 'surreal' experience

More Articles