Charles Leclerc has downplayed how Ferrari's extreme porpoising is affecting his ultimate pace. The Monegasque took a comfortable win on Sunday at the Australian Grand Prix, storming home over 20 seconds clear of Red Bull's Sergio Perez. Leclerc had also been able to hold off Max Verstappen throughout the event, prior to the Dutch driver's retirement on Lap 39 of 58. Having claimed pole position, the fastest lap and the race win, as well as leading every lap, Leclerc was simply unstoppable throughout the weekend in Melbourne. But, aside from his pace, the eye-catching part of watching the Ferrari on-track was its relentless porpoising, with both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz encountering extreme bouncing as they went down the curved back straight along the lake. Despite the same issue hampering Mercedes' outright pace, Ferrari's speed doesn't appear to be compromised in any way.
Leclerc: I'm not very sensitive to porpoising
Asked whether the porpoising was something that bothered him on track, Leclerc explained that it is not disturbing his ability to put in a good lap time. "I don't know why, but I am not very sensitive to it," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com , following his victory. "It looks extremely bad on the onboards. Of course, I feel it, but it doesn't disturb me too much in terms of performance. Just for Turn 9 maybe a little bit, because it's just tricky. It's bouncing a lot. "But it's definitely something we want to tackle because it doesn't help us for consistency, especially once you have bouncing in a corner – it can be a problem. So we need to work on that." Whilst Leclerc explained that it was a concern for consistency, he poured cold water on the idea that Ferrari could have even more pace if the car was more stable down the straights. "It wasn't an issue. I couldn't have gone faster if I didn't have the bouncing," he commented. "For the restart, it was a bit tricky because I had it before Turn 1, so you're never as confident to just brake extremely hard for Turn 1. But everything went well, it was just not so comfortable to do 58 laps like this."
Ferrari's pace during the Australian GP a "surprise"
Having dominated the race in a fashion not seen up until this point during 2022, Leclerc admits that the difference between Ferrari and Red Bull on race day had caught the Scuderia by surprise. "I think we were all surprised by our pace," the driver explained. "On the Medium [tyre], towards the end of the stint, we were extremely strong. We managed those tyres extremely well, we didn't have too much graining. So there, the pace was very strong. "Then, on the Hards, we probably expected Red Bull to be a bit closer in terms of pace but, also there, we seemed to have the upper hand. "After qualifying and FP2, we didn't see that, that performance difference between us and Red Bull, so it was a very good surprise!"