Charles Leclerc wants to lead a Ferrari one-two in Zandvoort and thinks the team can take the battle back to Max Verstappen at his home race, and his dominant Red Bull team. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc believes that the Zandvoort track, where the fifteenth round of the 2022 season takes place this weekend, will be more suitable for the F1-75 car than the Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium, where the Scuderia suffered greatly a few days ago.
After having raced on the fast and free flowing track of Spa-Fancorchamps, the drivers will find this weekend in Zandvoort a more technical circuit which requires more downforce on the cars. On the eve of this fifteenth round of the year, Charles Leclerc is aiming for nothing less than a Ferrari one-two finish on the track of his rival Max Verstappen.
“The track at Zandvoort is very downforce, so I think we’ll be back to our usual level of competitiveness,” said Leclerc on Thursday in Zandvoort.
“Everyone in the team has a big desire to do well and it’s also Carlos’ [Sainz] birthday, so it would be great to celebrate with a one-two – albeit with me in front of him…”
Despite Leclerc’s claims that it is a technical circuit, Zandvoort traditionally gained popularity because of its fast, sweeping corners such as Scheivlak as well as the “Tarzanbocht” AKA Tarzan corner, a hairpin at the end of the start/finish straight.
Tarzan is certainly the most famous corner in the circuit. Since there is a camber in the corner, it provides excellent overtaking opportunities in lower categories of motor racing. It is possible to pass around the outside as well as the easier inside. This corner is reportedly named after a local character who had earned the nickname of Tarzan and only wanted to give up his vegetable garden in the dunes if the track’s designers named a nearby corner after him.
As for the Belgian Grand Prix, where Ferrari struggled to keep up with the pace set by Red Bull, the Monegasque said on Thursday that the engineers are still analysing the data collected at Spa, while the data will be used primarily for the next race on the calendar after Zandvoort, which will be contested at the ultra-fast Monza track where it will be “crucial” for the Italian team to do well in front of thousands of Tifosi.
“We have not yet finished analysing all the data we have collected, but we already have some interesting indications, especially because the next race will be at Monza where it is crucial for us to do well given that it is our home race.”
Ferrari will really need to get on top of their analysis fast. According to Leclerc himself after the race in Belgium, it seems the team is at a total loss as to how Red Bull was so quick.
“If you look at Red Bull, they were on another level, and they found something this weekend that is a bit worrying for us,” said Leclerc in post race interviews.
“For now, we don’t exactly understand… They are still extremely quick in the straights, it looks like they have no downforce, but then they get into the corner and they are as quick as us, or quicker,
“So it’s a bit worrying.”
Prior to the Dutch Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc is third in the drivers’ championship, 98 points behind leader Max Verstappen, with only eight races remaining. Leclerc admitted after Spa that the championship was “definitely looking extremely difficult now” for Ferrari.