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Red Bull 'too strong' in key area for Ferrari to challenge for Miami win

Both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have offered a damning assessment of Ferrari's pace in Miami due to them lacking in a key area against Red Bull.

Sainz Perez
To news overview © XPBimages

Ferrari does not expect to be fighting Red Bull for the win in Miami despite Charles Leclerc showing quicker pace than Sergio Perez over one lap, and Carlos Sainz starting on the second row in P3.

Sainz expects it to be an interesting first couple of corners with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen also starting alongside, but ultimately believes that the fight will be with Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin.

"I think it will be an interesting start. I think last year there was also a decent difference between inside and outside into Turn 1, and we will see how it pans out," he told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"But I think we're fighting the Astons… who is behind me, P4? Magnussen? Interesting! Kevin, strange one, but he sometimes can pull it off, like we've seen many times.

"For sure Max will come from behind and will pass us both, it’s normally what should happen because in race pace we saw like, we've seen this year six, eight-tenths of difference, which is a big, big gap around a 50-something-lap race."

Leclerc: Red Bull in a league of their own

After getting angry for making the same mistake in qualifying that he did in FP2, Leclerc still starts in P7 ahead of Max Verstappen in P9 on the grid.

However, he feels that keeping up with Verstappen at the start will be tough and claims Red Bull is "too strong" when it comes to managing tyres.

"Unfortunately, absolutely not. The Red Bull is way too strong in terms of tyre degradation. So I think they will be in a league of their own," he said.

"Then if we can finish behind them I think it will be already a great achievement because the Aston seems very strong."

Even though the track has been resurfaced at Miami since last year, Ferrari has been one of the worst in the top teams at managing their tyres under the hot conditions in Miami.

Sainz also admits that Ferrari's tyre degradation is often a limiting factor for them in the races, as evidenced in Baku last time out.

He added: "Normally what we've seen this year is that the Aston and Fernando are a bit quicker in race pace than what we are, because they take better care of tyres, they have less deg, or whatever it is – which we are still trying to find out, and still trying to improve in our car."

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