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Leclerc admits Ferrari surprise after beating Red Bull to pole

World Championship leader Charles Leclerc has claimed his second pole position of the season and will start the Australian Grand Prix up front.

Charles Leclerc has admitted that Ferrari were surprised by their fine qualifying pace in Australia as he took his second pole position of the season. The World Championship leader will start Sunday's race in Melbourne at the front, ahead of the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. His teammate, Carlos Sainz, will start down in ninth with red flags, problems in the garage and a mistake on his final lap scuppering his Q3 session.

Leclerc: I feel good at a tough track for me

Leclerc has become the first Ferrari driver to take pole position in Australia since Kimi Raikkonen back in 2007 and will now look to convert that pole into a race victory. "It felt good. I mean, even more [so] because it is a track where I've always struggled in the past as a driver. I don't know, it probably doesn't fit me as well," said Leclerc. "This weekend we really worked hard. It was a bit messy during the three practice sessions, for me. I did some laps but never managed to put it all together, so it feels great."

Ferrari surprised with their qualifying pace

Leclerc looks set to face the tough challenge of fending off both Red Bull cars on race day, with his teammate set to start the Grand Prix well out of the fight. "The car is nice to drive but the Red Bull was very quick in FP2, during the long runs – but we were quite surprised by our own pace in qualifying," he continued. "Anything is possible tomorrow, we just need to do a good start and then hopefully we can keep that first position."

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