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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc verdict on Ferrari upgrades with Red Bull 'far ahead'

Ferrari is slowly closing the gap to Red Bull, but Charles Leclerc admits they are still far away competing for race wins.

Leclerc Verstappen Austria 2023
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To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc has insisted that Ferrari's latest car updates are a "step in the right direction" but concedes that Red Bull is still "far ahead" on track.

During the Austrian Grand Prix, Leclerc broke Max Verstappen's run of 249 laps led consecutively since taking the lead from Sergio Perez at the Miami Grand Prix.

Ferrari brought significant updates to the race in Austria to their floor and front wing, as part of their plans to close the gap to Red Bull and improve the predictability of the SF-23 for drivers.

Leclerc was happy with the car's overall feeling, but admits they are still far off the pace of Verstappen who built up enough of a gap at the end of the race to pit for an attempt at the fastest lap.

"The feeling has been better overall - which is great - now we need to keep pushing as Red Bull's are still quite far ahead," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"We want to be challenging in the Red Bull for the win, but we've done a step in the right direction for sure."

Leclerc: We are just slower than Red Bull

Earlier in the season both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz complained of tyre degradation being one of the most limiting factors for the team during races.

Both Canada and Austria are noted for being high on tyre degradation, but Ferrari managed to pull off an aggressive strategy in Montreal followed by a competitive one at the Red Bull Ring.

Now Ferrari have got on top of their tyre management problems, Leclerc has pin pointed where they are lacking specifically to Red Bull during the races.

"There are some improvements, the car is a little bit better. But overall, I think we are lacking pace," he explained.

"If you look at the beginning of the stint or at the end of the stint, it's not like there's a big difference. I don't think tyre management was our biggest issue, it was just that we were slower than Red Bull."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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