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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc details 'two chances' to rectify surprising issue

Charles Leclerc is keen to improve his qualifying performances after disappointing over one-lap recently.

Leclerc Japan FP3
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc has insisted that he has "two chances" at next weekend's Chinese Grand Prix to make up for his recent qualifying struggles, something he is not used to.

The Monegasque is renowned for his exceptional one-lap pace but has failed to dazzle in recent events.

Leclerc could only manage P8 last weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix, which severely dented his chances of a rostrum.

He had the pace for a podium and would have likely finished in the top three if he had qualified closer to Max Verstappen on pole.

With the first race in China since 2019 being a sprint weekend, the Ferrari driver will get two attempts to demonstrate his typically stunning pace over a lap.

"It's going to be an interesting weekend," Leclerc told select media including RacingNews365, when asked about the Chinese GP being a sprint event.

"As always, I think it's always quite tricky the sprint weekend and you have no room for mistake. But I like this.

"It's even more of a challenge because qualifying now is a point I need to focus on for putting the tyres in the right window. So I'll have two qualifying [sessions] in Shanghai, two chances to recover."

Ferrari 'second best'

Ferrari appear to undoubtedly be the second best team this season and do have a noticeable advantage over the likes of McLaren, Aston Martin and Mercedes.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has predicted that the Maranello-based outfit will have very strong pace at the Shanghai International Circuit, although Leclerc is not keen on labelling how much performance the Italians will have just yet.

Despite this, even the Ferrari driver recognises they are currently the closest outfit to Red Bull.

"I don't know, I think the picture will be relatively similar to where it is, where Red Bull still have the upper hand," Leclerc explained.

"We are the second best team and then the others, but McLaren wasn't bad, it was really good today and was very close to us, so they are not that far."

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