Red Bull have forewarned Leclerc of Baku race pace

Jamie Woodhouse
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, Red Bull, pose for a picture. Azerbaijan, June 2022.

Charles Leclerc says Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez have told him they have confidence in their Baku race pace.

Claiming his fourth pole position in succession, Leclerc heads into the Azerbaijan Grand Prix hoping to at last turn that into a victory having not taken the chequered flag first since the Australian Grand Prix in April.

His pole-securing lap in Q3 made him the class of the field, P2 starter Perez nearly three tenths of a second adrift of Leclerc’s mega lap. That made it back-to-back poles in Baku for Leclerc.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said though their focus was the race, Leclerc then revealing Perez and Verstappen, who starts P3, had both spoken to him with confidence about their race pace.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, and Sergio Perez, Red Bull, talk after qualifying. Azerbaijan, June 2022.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 if he thinks he has the edge over Red Bull come Sunday, Leclerc replied: “In the race, I don’t know. They seem to be very confident, in speaking with Max and Checo for the race.

“So I don’t know if they know something I don’t, but overall I was pretty confident too after FP2 – the feeling was good on high fuel. Today was a little bit less good on my side in qualy. So hopefully tomorrow everything comes back into place and we can get that win.”

Strategy let down Leclerc terribly at the previous round in Monaco, the 24-year-old going from leading his home race and in prime position for victory to finishing P4.

At the previous round in Spain, Leclerc was comfortably leading until forced to retire with a power-unit failure.

So as long as the mistakes and misfortune stay away on Sunday in Baku, Leclerc is confident he can win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Asked how he plans to convert pole position into the win, Leclerc said: “Good start. No mistake. Just try and do what we did in the last races without the mistakes.

“And the pace is there. The pace has been there in Barcelona, has been done in Monaco. In Barcelona, it happens what happened. And in Monaco, we just did a mistake and we will learn from it.

“But if we do everything perfect tomorrow I’m pretty sure we can get the win home.”