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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc anticipating Las Vegas pole fight after strong practice

Ferrari enjoyed a strong practice session in Las Vegas with Charles Leclerc setting the pace in the early hours of Friday morning.

Leclerc Las Vegas
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Charles Leclerc is expecting that he will be in the hunt for pole position in Las Vegas after showing strong pace during practice.

The first practice outing was abandoned after Leclerc's team-mate Carlos Sainz ran over a loose drain cover which inflicted heavy damage to the Ferrari car.

However, Leclerc managed to top the timesheet at the end of FP2 with Sainz ending the session behind him in second - however, the Spaniard will take a 10-place grid penalty for changing to his third Energy Store of the season.

Red Bull has enjoyed a dominant campaign thus far, winning 19 out of the 20 races staged - however, it has taken just 12 pole positions in comparison.

Max Verstappen ended FP2 in sixth place while team-mate Sergio Perez was fourth, behind the Ferrari duo and Aston Martin's Carlos Sainz.

Leclerc less hopeful over race success

While Leclerc is anticipating that he will pose a challenge to Red Bull over one lap, he has asserted that the reigning World Champions still hold an advantage across a full race distance.

“I always like street tracks but this one is a good one,” Leclerc said. “We look quite strong for now, it's difficult to understand where we are in terms of race pace.

“But in terms of qualifying pace, we seem strong. So we still have to work and try to take a step forward for tomorrow. But it's a good start.

“In qualifying as always, I think we will be there. In race pace I think they are still too strong.

“Max has done a really good race simulation, so I'm sure they will be strong on Saturday, this time [in Las Vegas]. In qualifying, it will be close.”

F1 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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