The Ferrari race weekend at the Las Vegas GP

Carlos Sainz (middle) and Charles Leclerc (right) of Ferrari at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, 2023

The curtain also falls on the Las Vegas GP, the penultimate of this season. A grand prize that brought both joys and disappointments. It wasn’t an easy weekend for Ferrari. Thanks to the major damage reported to Carlos Sainz’s car in free practice. Charles Leclerc, on the other hand, managed to take second place in the race. But let’s see this weekend in detail.

Carlos Sainz’s free practice

Nightmare start to weekend for Carlos Sainz. With damage to his SF23 costing him 10 grid positions ahead of the race. The first free practice sessions for the Las Vegas GP lasted exactly 8 minutes. During these few minutes, Carlos Sainz passed over a manhole that came loose. This destroyed the bottom of the car. Furthermore, this also knocked out the control unit, which usually only happens in serious accidents. This accident also damaged the monocoque, engine and battery. In short, major damage that cost Ferrari dearly. From here, free practice was interrupted because the track was unusable.

The penalty given to Carlos Sainz

Embed from Getty Images

Not only the damage, but also the mockery ! In fact, Carlos Sainz, was penalized due to the replacements that the Ferrari technicians had to carry out on his car. The Stewards had in fact to apply a mandatory sanction provided for by article 28.3 of the sporting regulations. And here came the 10 position penalty. In short, a penalty that could very well have been avoided if only more accurate checks had been carried out on the track.

Charles Leclerc’s pole position

Luckily, some good news is also arriving. Charles Leclerc wins his fifth pole of the season in Las Vegas, the twenty-third of his career. Thanks to a brilliant lap of 1:32.726, he narrowly preceded Carlos Sainz (+0.044). Unfortunately however, Carlos Sainz will have to serve his penalty. In the end, therefore, it was Charles Leclerc who took pole home, hoping to also be strong enough to be able to take home the victory.

Charles Leclerc’s magnificent performance

Embed from Getty Images

One thing is sure. Charles Leclerc demonstrated absurd determination this weekend. Already between free practice and then pole position, he had demonstrated that desire to emerge and conquer every record possible. And he almost succeeded. He concluded this Las Vegas GP with a second place. Quite remarkable, especially due to the difficulty in managing the tires in low temperatures. However, he had excellent race pace, with the medium tyre. While with the hard tire he found himself in more difficulty. Probably difficulty also due to the fact of having had to compete without his teammate Carlos Sainz. If they had been close, they would have had the opportunity to work as a team and be able to collaborate for a double podium in red.

Charles Leclerc: a champion’s race

Embed from Getty Images

We often read criticisms directed at Charles Leclerc. The skill of this boy can be seen precisely in how he manages to transform a simple race into something extraordinary. Driving a single-seater with many defects. But what would happen if he had a winning car? An ability that not everyone on the track has. Easy to criticize from the outside. It takes faith and courage to lead for a team that still lacks many things. Wrong organization, wrong strategies and much more. Yet, with all these difficulties, Charles Leclerc manages to extrapolate something magical from that single-seater. It’s all the emotions that make Charles Leclerc great. He is an awareness. And he’s hungry. Hungry to win over a redhead. There are those who doubt him, his passion for Ferrari. But the all-hearted boy doesn’t want to go anywhere. Indeed, he wants to win with the glory of the little horse.