Charles Leclerc says Ferrari’s 2023 Formula 1 car suffers from being highly wind-sensitive and that is creating unpredictability for its drivers after the Italian team endured a tough Miami Grand Prix.

Having only qualified P7 after a crash late in Q3, Leclerc suffered a frustrating race and was unable to make up any ground, finishing in the same position he started.

Meanwhile, Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz lined up on the grid in third but dropped back behind both Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin and George Russell in the Mercedes in the second stint to finish fifth on the road.

After Sainz professed the SF-23 was on a constant knife-edge through the high-speed sections on low fuel on Saturday, Leclerc also contends that the car is too wind sensitive in race trim, resulting in the drivers being unable to predict its behaviour in a certain corner from lap-to-lap.

“Yeah I mean, I was speaking just now with Carlos, what we are lacking is consistency on the car,” he issued. “The car is… it’s not even from corner to corner, it’s just in the same corner I can have a huge oversteery balance and then a huge understeery balance. Our car is so wind affected.

F1’s second visit to Miami sprung no surprises for Ferrari in terms of how the competitive picture shaped up.

Despite bringing a new floor to the event, the Scuderia was again competitive over a single lap – albeit not enough to steal pole like in Baku – but couldn’t manage its tyres effectively enough compared to its rivals.

Sainz, in particular, suffered a severe loss of pace on the hard tyre, having been competitive enough to get in shape for a successful undercut on Alonso when he was running the medium in the opening stages.

Leclerc states that Ferrari’s 2023 challenger also shows unpredictable traits when it comes to getting the tires in the right operating window, making it difficult for him or Sainz to draw the confidence to extract the maximum from it throughout the race.

“Yeah, well, I think it’s been similar since the beginning of the season in every single races,” the Monegasque declared. “We are going from one compound to the other, and we never know what’s going to happen on the new compound.

“It’s always an unknown, whether the car is going to react well, whether the tires are going to be in the right window. This is just very difficult also as a driver to gain the confidence and to adapt your driving. You get from one set to the other, and the car is completely in a different window.”

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF-23. 07.05.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Race Day.

Asked if the car felt better when he was on the medium tyre, Leclerc responded: “No. Just the same.

“At the end of the hard, once the graining cleaned up a little bit, it was a tiny bit better. But we are just lacking pace and consistency.”

Following a positive upturn in form in Azerbaijan – where Leclerc bagged top spot in both qualifying sessions and a top-three finish in the Sprint and main race – Ferrari’s competitiveness regressed back to the levels it had been in places such as Jeddah.

Leclerc suggests Ferrari needs to work on developing a more consistent car to be able to work the tires in all conditions and avoid the type of wild fluctuating performances it has sustained in 2023.

“Again, I think this is also part of consistency,” he pointed out.

“We sometimes feel like we’ve done a step forward, and then you arrive in some very particular conditions, it’s warmer than other races, and now we are completely off the window of the right window of the tires. So we need to work on that.”

Leclerc is hopeful that the addition of some new parts, along with cooler conditions, will enable Ferrari to perform better at the first of its two home races at the Imola circuit.

“Again, the conditions are going to be very different there with different weather,” he acknowledged.

“So we’ll have some new parts on the car which will hopefully go in the right direction. We are working on that consistency, and I hope we’ll see the first progress there.”

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