Charles Leclerc has praised the "smoothness" of Ferrari's pre-season programme, after the Scuderia consistently featured close to the front throughout all six days of testing in Barcelona and Bahrain.
After Ferrari wrapped up testing with Leclerc finishing the final day seven-tenths of a second down on pace-setter Max Verstappen, but well clear of Mercedes' George Russell (who set his time on the softest C5 compound), Leclerc praised how preparations have unfolded for his team.
Having arrived into Formula 1 with the Sauber/Alfa Romeo team in 2018, Leclerc said 2022 marks the most productive pre-season of his career so far.
"It's definitely one of the smoothest preparations I've had for a season," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"[There were] no major issues and, especially on such a new project, you always expect to find some barriers in the way.
"For now, apart from porpoising that is still kind of an issue in some conditions, it's been quite smooth and we managed to just keep improving."
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Leclerc has his eyes on Red Bull and Mercedes
But Leclerc admitted he's very wary of the outright pace of Red Bull and Mercedes.
"As we've seen, I think Red Bull had quite a new package today and Mercedes had a completely new car, and didn't really show their potential," he commented.
"Actually, everyone seems to be quite close at some point or another.
"It's very, very difficult to know how much they have in margin. We know how much margin we have, but we have no idea how much they hide their gains."
As a result, the Monegasque said it's difficult to pinpoint where Ferrari stand as F1 ramps up for the season opener at the Bahrain circuit on 20 March.
"For now, it's very, very difficult, and that's why I
think we need to really stay cautious, because it's nice to be in the
front but it doesn't mean anything for now," he added.
"Honestly, I have no idea where we are. But it's definitely been a smooth six days of testing."
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