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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc reveals impact drain cover damage had on Ferrari programme

Charles Leclerc's day of running in Bahrain came to an early end when he ran over a loose drain cover.

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Charles Leclerc has insisted the damage inflicted to his car by running over a loose drain cover did not affect Ferrari's run programme in Bahrain.

The morning session was brought to an early end when the drain cover struck the floor of the SF-24. It was Ferrari's second such incident after Carlos Sainz ran over a water valve cover during practice for last year's inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix which severely damaged his car.

The Monégasque driver had the fastest lap of the session at the time and had tallied 54 laps before handing the car over to teammate Carlos Sainz.

Despite the interruption, Leclerc stated that Ferrari was able to complete its test programme.

“[We've found] all the answers yes, because in the end, we went through all [of] our programme which is a good thing.

“We've done big changes on the car, that's what we were focusing on for these first two days.

“[Friday] we'll go and fine-tune the car and go into the details but the first few days went well for now.”

Red Bull still favourites, says Leclerc

While it has been a positive test so far for Ferrari, Leclerc was adamant that Red Bull remains the pick of the field.

“Let's be careful because saying the two first days went well doesn't mean anything in terms of competitiveness," he said.

“So we need to wait and see for that. My initial feeling is that Red Bull remains the reference and ahead for now.

“I think the first performance runs we'll be seeing is in qualifying next week [at the Bahrain Grand Prix].

“You're trying to get a little bit more out of the car and [Friday] is the last day, so hopefully we'll centre the car a bit more in terms of setup to where we think it's the best.

“We'll fine-tune it to be fully ready for next week.”

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