How Leclerc was beaten by Verstappen in the Imola Sprint

Leclerc Verstappen

Charles Leclerc was on track to claim the victory of the Imola Sprint race until late when tyre problems occurred. Paolo Filisetti, a mechanical analyst, examines the circumstances in greater detail.

Leclerc Verstappen

With two circuits remained in Saturday’s Sprint race at Imola, Ferrari racer Charles Leclerc had to admit being beaten by Red Bull opponent Max Verstappen.

This was attributed to Ferrari experiencing greater graining than Red Bull during the 21-lap race, particularly on the front-right tyre.

Despite taking the lead on the opening lap and racing in clear air for the rest of the race, Leclerc had substantial lateral tyre slip. The setup of his F1-75 is to blame for this issue.

Ferrari’s front wing in focus

The front wing had been changed on the Sprint grid, with Ferrari choosing for increased aerodynamic performance on the straights.

If the starting lineups had remained largely unchanged, Ferrari and Leclerc would have had a better chance of passing Verstappen while also makes it harder for their competitors to pass.

Verstappen had to go very close to Leclerc into the final lap to overtake utilising the Drag Reduction System, as we saw at the end of the race (DRS).

What about the Grand Prix?

Because Imola becoming a counter-clockwise racetrack, more stress is exerted to this area via the several left-hand bends, graining was most noticeable on the front-right tyre.

In the actual Grand Prix on Sunday, when Leclerc and Verstappen will not only utilise the Soft compound tyre, Ferrari’s set-up option should turn out fine.

Leclerc also performed a long run with the Medium compound during second practise, which he will most likely utilise to begin the 63-lap race.

As a result, the problem that Leclerc had during the Sprint should not recur.

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Charles Leclerc, F1, F1 2022, Ferrari, Formula 1, Grand Prix, Max Verstappen, Red Bull

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