Ferrari: why Charles Leclerc was right to be angry and frustrated after F1 Montreal events

The Ferrari weekend, for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz as well as for the rest of the Maranello team, was an unexpected cold shower in the ninth round of the 2024 Formula 1 championship. Almost nothing worked on a technical level, and as if that weren’t enough, poor reliability also made an appearance at the 4.361-kilometre Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal last weekend. The problem is well known. We are referring to Charles Leclerc’s power unit, which suffered a drop in performance during the very early stages of the Canadian Grand Prix. There were about 80 horsepower less available, which cost about half a second per lap in terms of performance when the track surface was still wet, a deficit that grew as the track gradually began to dry up. This situation undoubtedly makes a driver angry.

Such a scenario indeed makes one nervous and powerless because such a factor often has no solution, and sadly the only thing left to do is to endure it. But Charles Leclerc did not give up. He fought by tweaking the multifunction, a rotating knob featuring the prancing horse on a yellow background, through which various parameters of the SF-24 car can be adjusted such as injection (Spark), fuel (MIX), gearbox mappings (GX), or the different pre-set driving modes: Mode box (pit), Mode race (hot lap), Mode slow (inlap), Mode Tyre (tire management).

This knob can also be used for other functions related to software problems. This is why Bryan Bozzi gave specific alphanumeric strings every single lap, trying to limit the error in the control unit. These “driver defaults” aim to restore a system failure to activate, deactivate, or isolate various functionalities such as sensors and alarms. All this, indeed, to find a reset point and allow the various components of the single-seater to function correctly.

As we already explained in our post-race on-board report on Scuderia Ferrari, unfortunately, all the measures taken did not have the desired effect. This is why during the unfortunate pit stop to fit the Hard tires when the track was still too wet, the Monegasque driver performed what is known as a “power cycle.” A true reset to begin the usual engine start procedure from scratch, namely to fire the engine, turbo engagement, pit limiter off, bite point, all with the goal of hoping to erase the system failure and be able to fully exploit the engine power.

When the Monegasque returned to the track, according to the Ferrari pit wall, the problem was solved. This is why it seems strange that the use of “driver defaults” continued. Perhaps it was normal procedures in order to keep things under control and avoid encountering the error again. To this limiting condition on car number 16, we must add the context of what happen in the qualifying session on Saturday. Let’s take a step back to Q2, where both Ferrari drivers were unable to pass the cut to the last part of the session. This issue made Charles Leclerc quite angry and rightfully so.

The reason is very simple: the timing chosen by the all-red Formula 1 team for the attempt with new Soft tires was clearly wrong. Considering the evolution of the Montreal track, it would have been much wiser to make the first attempt with scrubbed tires and then use the extra grip of the fresh compound in the last minutes of Q2, when the track surface was surely more rubbered in and in fact everyone improved their lap times in those conditions. Being pissed off about this wrong choice is more than legitimate, especially considering that there are quite a few Ferrari technicians who could have thought about this aspect and thus offer an extra chance to Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, on a weekend in which the SF-24 car clearly did not have the pace to think it would set strong lap times regardless of the track conditions.

Charles Leclerc is a Formula 1 driver and as such should be evaluated. It is more than fair to comment on his actions, whether good or bad, while also always trying to maintain a certain objectivity which, especially in his case, often isn't present. Therefore, pointing fingers at the Ferrari driver, highlighting how nervous he was, or generally giving too much importance to these factors doesn’t seem to make much sense, especially considering his complete lack of responsibility in the insufficient performance contexts of Scuderia Ferrari at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal last weekend.

Turning the Monegasque driver into a subject for psychoanalytic analysis every time he puts on his helmet and gets on track is a serious mistake that should not be made. It doesn't lead to anything good. On the contrary, it can be harmful because newspapers, magazines, and websites that talk about Ferrari, as well as opinions written on social media, much more often than one might think, come to the attention of Formula 1 drivers. Charles Leclerc arrived from Monte Carlo after a historic victory in front of his home fans, a moment he had dreamed of ever since he was a child. In the Canadian Grand Prix, he hoped to fight at the top again with the goal of nourishing the hope of reopening the battle for the 2024 Formula 1 championship.

He gets into the car on Friday and despite the few laps, the Monegasque gathers very good feedback regarding the pace and performance of the SF-24 car in mixed track conditions. Team principal Frederic Vasseur confirms that Ferrari is there and will challenge Red Bull and McLaren for pole position and the race victory. And then, as we know, the cold shower arrives. on Saturday. The final free practice session in Montreal brings the Maranello team back down to earth. The prelude to total failure. It is also said that Charles Leclerc wanted a set-up change before the qualifying session which, however, was not granted. But it’s important to point out that we have no certainty regarding this information reported by various news media outlets. The rest of the story we know perfectly, we have been talking about it for at least three days.

Therefore, a question spontaneously arises, regardless of what happened: for what reason should Charles Leclerc not have been nervous or pissed off? Should he perhaps have been amused by the situation? Laugh it off maybe, making light of it? Well, a Formula 1 driver is not a philosopher. He lives for competition and every little detail that neutralizes the possibility of performing at his best is extremely frustrating. Isn't that right? And so let the anger, nervousness, and frustration come. Because those who don’t vent in these cases might also make one think that the importance of the result is not that high after all.

Source: FUnoanalisitecnica

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