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Leclerc declares title challenge on after commanding victory

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc says if his car continues to perform at the level it has done so far this year, then he'll be able to start thinking about a championship challenge.

Charles Leclerc was in a league of his own throughout the Australian Grand Prix, as his lead of the race in Melbourne went practically unchallenged from start to finish. While Leclerc had to worry about Red Bull's Max Verstappen on occasion, he appeared to have more than enough pace to handle whatever the reigning World Champion was able to throw at him. A beaming Leclerc spoke after the race, saying that it was the first time in F1 he'd ever experienced a weekend like it. "In Formula 1, it's the first one where we controlled the gap a little bit and, honestly... what a car today!" he said. "I mean, I did a good job all weekend, but it was not possible without the car this weekend. "Especially on the race pace, we were extremely strong. [The] tyres felt great. From the first lap to the last lap, we were managing the tyres extremely well. I'm just so happy."

Leclerc thinking about a championship challenge

With Leclerc winning two of the first three races, and placing second in the other, he now enjoys a 34-point lead over Mercedes' George Russell. Having such a strong lead after the first handful of races, Leclerc explained that he'll be able to start thinking about a championship challenge as long as the F1-75 keeps performing at the level it is currently. "Obviously, we only had the third race," he went on to comment. "It's difficult to think about the championship but, to be honest, we've got a very strong car. [It's] a very reliable car too and, for now, we've always been there, so I hope it continues like this and, if it does, then we probably have chances for the championship. "[This] obviously makes me smile after the last two years that have been difficult for the team and for myself, so it's great to be back in this position."

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