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Charles Leclerc

Leclerc still wary of Red Bull threat despite Ferrari boost

Ferrari improved its fortunes in the second-half of the season, just failing to finish second in the championship, but Charles Leclerc is still cautious.

Leclerc Las Vegas
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Charles Leclerc has highlighted Red Bull's advantage in race pace as a concern despite Ferrari's improved performance in the second-half of 2023.

After the summer break, Ferrari turned the SF-23 around and were able to grab five pole positions and a win for Carlos Sainz in Singapore as it mounted a challenge to Mercedes in the fight for second in the Constructors'.

The Scuderia fell just three points of catching Mercedes as it ended the season with the second-fastest car, on the track, but Leclerc fells there is still a mountain to climb to catch Red Bull.

Leclerc wary

"On one hand it is good to finish a season like that," Leclerc told media including RacingNews365 of his second place in Abu Dhabi.

"That gives me the confidence that, for next year, hopefully, we know more where we need to set-up our car and where the development needs to be done.

"On the other hand, there's still a long way to go before getting to the Red Bull pace, especially in terms of race pace.

"On that we are all aware in the team that there's still a lot of work to do.

"It's so much up and down. We've got races where we were definitely the second fastest cars, other races where maybe we were the fourth or fifth fastest car, so it was really up and down.

"But I believe that since Japan, when we brought an upgrade to the car, it went in the right direction, especially for my driving style.

"I always like to have a strong front and I felt much more at ease and could be much more consistent. So yeah, that's a positive.

"Then, of course, very disappointed with that third place in the Constructors’ as that was my only target since two or three races now."

F1 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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