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How Reliability broke Charles Leclerc’s weekend in Bahrain

Charles Leclerc of Ferrari in Bahrain, 2024

The dancing begins. The highly anticipated new F1 season kicked off between the curves of the Bahrain circuit. A new season of rebirth for the Ferrari team. After the first tests on the track, the SF-24 gave great signs of hope. Yet some reliability problems have already created some discomfort for driver Charles Leclerc.

Free practice

During free practice, the SF-24 sent clear encouraging signals. It has in fact proven to be superior to the 2023 Ferrari car. The best time recorded was that of Carlos Sainz on the Sakhir circuit in the third free practice of the GP (1.30.824). While his teammate, Charles Leclerc, lapped in 1.31.094.


Since free practice, Ferrari has shown that it has excellent potential. And everything was confirmed during qualifying. Charles Leclerc actually managed to take second place on pole. During Q2 Charles Leclerc had demonstrated a very promising performance. But unfortunately he was unable to replicate it, leaving pole to his opponent Max Verstappen. Exactly 228 thousandths of a difference.

The first reliability problems for Charles Leclerc

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Charles Leclerc’s race would have been a perfect or almost perfect one. But from the beginning, he had to deal with some problems with the car. A balance problem with the brakes. In fact, from the team’s radio, he immediately reported an anomalous behavior to the car. “The car goes right when I brake.” – This is what he initially said in the radio team. Charles Leclerc also suffered numerous blocking problems when braking. Especially in turns 9 and 10.

It is important to underline that a component of the front brake had been replaced before the race. This choice was made entirely as a precaution. Yet during the race, this brought great difficulties. A difficult situation that he had to manage for the entire race, penalizing him. Despite this, he still managed to take fourth place.

What we saw in Bahrain is a more mature Ferrari than the one in 2023. With Fred Vasseur trying to fix a team that has now fallen into total oblivion. With P3 and P4 achieved, Ferrari currently confirms itself as the second force. A sign of trust and hope for all the fans but also for the team. But not only. The SF-24 also managed to halve the disadvantage compared to Red Bull. Despite this, in this race, Charles Leclerc found himself forced to fight not against his opponents but against his car which unfortunately did not want to cooperate.

Worth underlining is the pressure Charles Leclerc was subjected to throughout the race. He had to deal with a significant brake problem. And despite this, he still managed to finish the race. He also managed to score a few fast laps and still finished in the points. Many riders in his place, with such a problem, would not have finished the race.

Fight for the impossible

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In races like these, you need a cool head and a lot of concentration in trying to finish a race in the best possible way. And the skill of a pilot can be seen precisely in these difficulties. What we saw after the race was a disappointed and embittered Charles Leclerc. A disappointment that was evident in his words to Sky Sport F1 Italia:“If all in all I’m satisfied with fourth place? The satisfactions are different. I’m not at all happy with how today went: when you can bring home a second place, you have to do it. We didn’t do that today. We maximized what we had, but what we had wasn’t in the right place, so I can’t say I’m happy.”

Leclerc found himself having to manage the brake problem, manage the tires and also have to do some overtaking. Such as, for example, the overtaking of George Russell, who was also in great difficulty with his car.
Certainly this match in Bahrain was a bitter and full of suffering. But he still demonstrated the potential of this SF-24. Now all that remains is to understand and fix these reliability problems and hope that the next race is luckier than this one. Miracles in F1 don’t exist, we know that. You have to fight from the first second to the last. Calculate everything and also manage unexpected events. In the worst cases you withdraw from the race. But what Charles Leclerc managed to do in this race is something that very few would have managed to do.


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