Leclerc: Strongest race pace since start of season

Shahida Jacobs
Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari garage

Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari garage

Things are looking good for Ferrari at the Russian Grand Prix with Charles Leclerc declaring that their race pace is probably the “strongest since the beginning of the season”.

Ferrari are on a roll as they have won the last three grands prix and they carried that momentum over to the Sochi Autodrom as Leclerc set the pace in FP1 while he was bumped down to second place in FP2 by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The Monagasque driver feels there are a lot to be positive about after Friday’s outings.

“To be completely honest arriving in Singapore it was a big surprise for us to be so competitive,” he is quoted as saying by Sky F1. “Here, honestly we don’t see any reasons not to be competitive seeing the performance we had in Singapore.

“But Red Bull seems very strong so it’s going to be difficult and a tight fight with them, even though I know they’ve got a penalty.

“We’ve been strong on the race pace which I think is probably our strongest race pace since the beginning of the season, which is positive.”

Team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who won in Singapore last weekend, was 1.039s behind Verstappen’s pace in FP2, but he is confident Ferrari can improve further.

“It was a bit strange,” the German said. “We tried some stuff, and we need to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

“Red Bull looked really quick this morning and also in the afternoon, especially in Sector 3.

“I think we can improve, especially in terms of balance, we’ll put it altogether and it should be a better day tomorrow.

“How much time we can manage? It’s difficult to know. But tomorrow we are on the good side of things.”

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