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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc admits surprise over Ferrari’s strong Singapore pace

Ferrari topped both Friday practice sessions in Singapore as rivals Red Bull struggled for form

Leclerc Singapore
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc has admitted that Ferrari has been left surprised by its impressive pace during Friday practice in Singapore.

Leclerc ended the first practice session on top of the timesheets ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz, before the duo swapped positions in FP2.

It has typically been Red Bull who has been at the top of the timesheets this year amid a dominant campaign for the reigning World Champions, but the Milton Keynes-based outfit struggled throughout the day and was unable to challenge Ferrari.

However, Leclerc is expecting that Red Bull will be back on form come qualifying.

"Yes, we are surprised," Leclerc explained of the SF-23 burst of pace around Marina Bay

"But we are not getting carried away either.

"It’s only Friday and we expect the other teams to show more of their true potential.

"We can’t get carried away but it is true that we didn’t expect this kind of performance on a Friday at least.

"It’s a good start but now we need to focus on ourselves and hopefully, we can do the same [on Saturday and Sunday].

"It’s going to be very close. I expect the others to be much faster.

"I hope we won’t have any bad surprises and we’ll be less competitive than we think we are at the moment. But for now, everything looks good.”

Leclerc hails change in approach

Ferrari also showed strong form last time out in Monza and was the clear second-fastest team after Red Bull.

Leclerc had solid pace in qualifying and the Grand Prix at Ferrari’s home race but had to make several changes after practice due to being unhappy with his car.

However, the Monegasque driver has said a change in approach has left Ferrari pleased right out of the gates in Singapore.

"It felt quite good straight from the start, it changed quite a bit from Monza where I struggled," he said.

"I had a very difficult Friday but we learned from it, we went the other way for here and the balance felt great straight away.

"I’m very happy with the chance of approach and it’s good to start the weekend on a Friday like this.

"We still need to do a step forward for tomorrow, so that’s where we’re focused on at the moment."


F1 2023 Singapore Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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