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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc bleak over Ferrari's Jeddah F1 chances

Ferrari opened the new Formula 1 season with a podium at the Bahrain Grand Prix but Charles Leclerc has hinted that Saudi Arabia will be a more tricky affair.

Leclerc Saudi 2024
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Charles Leclerc has hinted that Ferrari will be further from the front-running pace in Saudi Arabia compared to the season-opening round in Bahrain.

Leclerc missed out on pole position by two-tenths of a second last time out in Bahrain before his car was hit with brake issues during the Grand Prix.

However, teammate Carlos Sainz showed strong pace and climbed to third place in the final classification.

The second round of the campaign takes place at a much different venue with Jeddah's F1 track offering the drivers a high-speed challenge around a street track configuration.

Speaking to media including RacingNews365, Leclerc conceded: “I don’t think this [track characteristic] is our main strength, I felt like it was more the medium-speed [corners] where we were strong.

“I think also we have historically always been strong in Bahrain. So I would prefer to wait a few more races to see what are our weaknesses and what are our strong points as it’s probably too early to say for now.”

'Verstappen too far ahead'

Despite being unable to challenge Red Bull in Bahrain, Ferrari was buoyant over its weekend following a difficult campaign last year.

Team Principal Frederic Vasseur estimated that Ferrari has eradicated at least 50 percent of Red Bull's advantage.

When asked if Ferrari will bother Red Bull going forward this year, Leclerc replied: “Not for now but I think we are in a much better place compared to last year.

“After the first race, we were more trying to fix the issues rather than focusing on the future and the next upgrades.

“This year the car is in a much better place, in a place where we expected it to be. So now we can focus on the future upgrades.

“That is looking better, however Max is still too far ahead.”

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