Charles Leclerc vs Carlos Sainz - Race Engineer Analysis

We decided to put real-life f1 data into Track Titan to analyse exactly how drivers differ from each other. Here, we're taking a look at how Charles Leclerc was quicker than Carlos Sainz in 2023.

This example is from qualifying at Spa, with both laps being the driver’s first in Q3. Let’s analyse the fast left hander of Turn 9, sometimes known as “No Name”, starting with the braking zone. Both drivers brake at around the same time, however Leclerc lets off the brake a lot earlier, allowing him to carry more speed into the corner. On top of this, he gets on the throttle a lot earlier than Sainz, taking a wider line on the exit and easily gaining around 4 tenths of a second compared to Sainz.

The line taken by Leclerc is somewhat unconventional. He starts the corner a lot further left when compared to Sainz, which ordinarily would mean a tighter, and therefore slower line through the corner, but he manages to use this to his advantage. In this Quali session, parts of the track were still wet due to recent rain, including the kerbs. By using the kerb on the entry to the corner, Sainz wouldn’t have had as much grip while braking, causing him to brake for longer. Leclerc on the other hand, didn’t use this kerb, so was therefore able to brake for less time and carry more speed.

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