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Leclerc makes Ferrari demands as he admits Red Bull have 'upper hand'

Charles Leclerc has set out where Ferrari need to make improvements if they are to keep fighting with Red Bull at the head of the F1 pack.

Charles Leclerc has urged Ferrari to find improvements on race days as he conceded that Red Bull now have a key advantage in this area. Leclerc stormed to victory in two of this season's first three races, while capitalising on a pair of retirements for main rival Max Verstappen, to open up a sizeable early lead in the championship standings. But this has been eroded over the past two events, with Verstappen taking back-to-back wins – and maximum points – in Imola and Miami, meaning Leclerc is now just 19 points clear of F1's title holder.

Leclerc demands improvements in race trim

Given the pace displayed by Red Bull over the last two weekends, particularly in the races, Leclerc is keen to see a reaction from his team, pointing to how the F1-75 is using its tyres compared to the RB18. "In the race we need to [react], especially on the softer compounds," Leclerc explained to media, including RacingNews365.com . "On the Medium [and] Soft it seems that it's been already two races that in terms of race pace, they seem to be a bit stronger and managing those tyres better. "In qualifying, we always managed to put those tyres in the right window, which helps us, but on the long runs, we struggle a bit more compared to them."

Leclerc still happy with his points lead

Leclerc also offered his thoughts on the current standings, and whether he prefers to be the hunted or the hunter, with Verstappen coming back from 46 points behind after Australia. "I think we have been in only one position since the beginning of this season, which means we are hunted for now," he added. "I quite like this position, to be honest, because it means that you are doing something right, but it is also true that it's two races that the gap is slowly closing down. "But I don't really mind in whichever position I am in; I just want to be the most competitive out there. "At the moment, it seems that Red Bull has the upper hand in the races."

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