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Downbeat Leclerc explains why Ferrari need a 'miracle' to win in Australia

Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari are unlikely to repeat their 2022 efforts by challenging for the Australian Grand Prix victory.

Charles Leclerc has cast doubt on Ferrari being able to mount a surprise challenge for the Formula 1 race victory in Australia. Ferrari have so far failed to match the pace of runaway leaders Red Bull and, through a combination of poor reliability and race performance, find themselves fourth in the Constructors' Championship. This year's event in Melbourne is anticipated to be a stark contrast to twelve months ago, when Leclerc and Ferrari took victory and were firmly in contention for both championships. "For this year, we are not coming into this race in the same situation as we were last year. Clearly, our performance is not as good as last year," Leclerc told media. "I don't think there will be any miracles for this weekend."

Leclerc: Qualifying pace irrelevant with poor race pace

When quizzed on his chances of challenging for Pole Position, given the small gap in the Saudi Arabian GP qualifying, Leclerc pointed to the bigger issue that is a greater concern to Ferrari. "I think that in qualifying, we've been quite good since the beginning of the season. Where we need to focus on is the race where our car is extremely peaky," Leclerc replied. "When all the conditions are right, we seem to be able to extract the performance out of our package but whenever the conditions are changing a little bit, with a heavier car where you see a little bit more the limitations of the car, then that's where we struggle. "I do believe that we’ll be quite close in qualifying – I hope so – but I think that the picture in the race will be quite similar."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix