Charles Leclerc says the gap with Red Bull is bigger than it looks

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Charles Leclerc feels a bit comfortable getting through qualifying 0.155 seconds ahead of Sergio Perez’s time in pole position at the Saudi Grand Prix, says Ferrari’s gap to Red Bull is larger much more than was suggested in Saturday’s session.

Leclerc is second but will drop to 12th on the grid with a ten-place grid penalty after reliability issues at the Bahrain Grand Prix caused him to exceed the number of control electronics allowed during the season.

Despite the clear improvement in performance over Red Bull since the opening game of the season in Bahrain, when Leclerc was 0.3 seconds behind pole position, the Ferrari driver was cautious when it comes to his progress. his team after defending champion Max Verstappen was disqualified due to a damaged drive shaft.

“I take everything to heart but I feel like the distance we are seeing between Checo and myself is not the real gap, I think the gap is much bigger than that,” he said. “And in the end, my goal is to beat Red Bull, not second, third or fourth or whatever. So there’s still a lot of work to do before reaching their level. .”

Leclerc said Ferrari is on par with Mercedes, Aston Martin and Alpine in race speed, but expects Verstappen, who will start in 15th, to overtake the field.

“Tomorrow we have a penalty in tenth place so the race is going to start a bit tough but I will do everything to get back to the top.

“We’ll also have Max at the back, but the Red Bulls are in a league of their own right now so I’m pretty sure he’ll get back to the top quickly. For us, we’ll try. and focus on ourselves, we’re more or less the same race pace as Alpine, Mercedes and Aston Martin so it’s going to be a good game, but we’ll see tomorrow.”


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