Charles Leclerc is hopeful that Ferrari's front-row lockout will prove to be enough to hold back the Red Bulls during the Miami Grand Prix, fearing the straight-line speed of the RB18.
Leclerc starts the race at the Miami International Autodrome from pole position, having pipped Carlos Sainz to top spot. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez start from third and fourth place respectively.
Red Bull's straight-line speed has proven to be one of their most eye-catching strengths early in 2022, borne out by Perez and Verstappen topping the charts through the Miami speed trap – some 10km/h quicker than what the Ferraris could manage.
With the Miami circuit's long straights tempered by some tight corners, Leclerc is hopeful the strengths of the F1-75 through the twistier sections will help keep the RB18s at bay.
Leclerc wary of Red Bull straight-line speed
"Well, of course, if they are close to us then it's going to be very difficult," Leclerc told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"But we've got this advantage in the corners [and], hopefully, [they] will be too far to then have an opportunity of overtaking us on the straight, but only time will tell and we'll only see that [in the race].
"But again, the pace of the car is quite strong, so we'll focus on ourselves and see where we are."
Leclerc said the fact Sainz has qualified alongside him - Ferrari's first front-row lockout since the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix - will help with a two-pronged defence against the Red Bulls.
"It's definitely better," Leclerc said.
"Both cars are very competitive, Carlos and I are very competitive, so it's great for the team. And yeah, we'll push to try and finish in the same positions."
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Leclerc full of confidence in the F1-75
With Ferrari's 2022 car proving versatile and fast at every circuit, the upgrades brought to Miami appear to be paying dividends for the drivers.
Asked about how much confidence he has at the wheel of the F1-75, with which he leads the championship, Leclerc spoke of the strength of the machine.
"[I have] a lot [of confidence in it]," he commented.
"It is a very strong package that we have. It works in, more or less, every condition since the beginning of the season, so that is a good sign for the future.
"But yeah, as I've said many times, I think the upgrades this year will be very, very important. We've had a few here, which went in the right direction. Hopefully, we'll have some more during the season to stay on top."
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