Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Charles Leclerc

Leclerc still wary of Red Bull Australia threat despite practice pace

The Monégasque delivered an upbeat verdict of the Scuderia's chances in Australia - even if he remains wary.

Leclerc Australia FP1
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc remains wary of the threat posed by Red Bull at the Australian Grand Prix - but declared it Ferrari's "best shot" of challenging the world champions.

Leclerc topped the second practice session with a 1:17.722 lap, 0.381s clear of Max Verstappen in the lead Red Bull, albeit after the defending champion missed the first 20 minutes of the session owing to a floor change following damage sustained in FP1.

The delay meant Verstappen was unable to complete a proper long run as would ordinarily have taken place. Leclerc's medium tyre run, meanwhile, included eye-catching laps in the low 1:22, high 1:23 region, as opposed to the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez managing times in the low 1:23, high 1:24s.

Ferrari has so far delivered the better qualifying package in 2024, with Leclerc setting a faster time in Q2 in Bahrain than Verstappen's eventual pole lap.

The Monégasque, who last converted pole position into a win at Albert Park in 2022, believes the fight is on.

"It feels good for now, we've had a positive day, from the first laps in FP1 to the end of FP2, so it is a good start," said Leclerc.

"However, we need to keep working very hard because I am sure that we'll see some surprises, and there is no reason for us not to be in front compared to everyone [in qualifying].

"Our race run was pretty good, which was encouraging.

"I will say that we are in a better position [to fight Red Bull] than in the first two races, however, Red Bull was not pushing, so we've got to wait and see where its potential is at, but I think they are still ahead.

"We have our best shot this weekend from the beginning of the season.

"It is very difficult to compare because some drivers had a lot of traffic [on the race runs], and we had relatively clean laps, but it looked quite good."

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and don't miss a thing of Formula 1

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Join the conversation!

LATEST Hulkenberg set to sign for Audi