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Leclerc – It’s nice P1, but it doesn’t mean anything

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Leclerc P1 but it doesnt mean anything

Formula 1 2022 Pre-Season Testing at Barcelona, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc managed to set top times. This immediately led to speculation from Mercedes, but according to Leclerc one should not prejudge the issues.

Charles Leclerc says there is a notable difference in how the all-new 2022 cars can follow, but it all depends on the distance.

This year the Formula 1 cars are completely different to last season’s, the sport moving away from over-car airflow to ground effect aerodynamics meaning a suction is created underneath the car to pull it onto the track.

The drivers put in their first laps in the brand new cars in Spain this past week, spending three days at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Rather than chasing lap times, the test was about getting to know the new cars and focusing on reliability.

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Ferrari did just that, the busiest team over the three days with 439 laps, 46 more than what Mercedes covered.

Charles Leclerc is happy that the first winter test went well, but on the other hand also recognizes that Ferrari has to keep a cool head. 

“Of course it’s nice to see yourself on P1, but it doesn’t mean anything. I think everyone in the team is aware of that,” he said in conversation with Sky Sports.

Leclerc, though, did deliberately spend time following other cars to get a feel for how the new car behaves in those circumstances.

“It is quite interesting,” the Monegasque driver told Motorsport.com, “because I’ll say from three seconds to one second behind the car in front, you actually can follow closer.

“Then from one second to five-tenths I will say it’s similar to the feeling I had last year.

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“And then from five tenths to extremely close, then this is much better than last year.

“It is nice, it’s interesting. I mean, I’ll have to do a few more laps behind a car, but it’s looking good for now.”

More news : Vettel sees no light at the end of the tunnel

Ferrari impressed in testing, tackling the top of the timesheets along with McLaren on day one and two.

However, on the overall timesheet Leclerc fell to fifth place, behind both Mercedes drivers, Sergio Perez and Lando Norris.

Ferrari’s form again has pundits and rivals alike saying the Scuderia are looking good. Leclerc has downplayed this.

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“We have no idea where we are in terms of performance, and that’s impossible to know either,” he said.

But he concedes so far so good for Ferrari.

“It was quite good. We passed all the tests that we wanted to do,” he said. “And that was the most important thing: drive as many kilometres as we can.”

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Leclerc - It's nice P1, but it doesn't mean anything

Leclerc – It’s nice P1, but it doesn’t mean anything Leclerc – It’s nice P1, but it doesn’t mean anything

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F1 PRE-SEASON TESTING 2023
Bahrain
DateMorning SessionAfternoon Session
Day 123rd February8:00am – 12:00pm1:00pm – 5:00pm
Day 224th February8:00am – 12:00pm1:00pm – 5:00pm
Day 325th February8:00am – 12:00pm1:00pm – 5:00pm
2023 F1 Car Launches
TeamCar NameDate
HaasVF-2331 January
Red BullRB1903 February
WilliamsFW4506 February
Alfa RomeoC4307 February
AlphaTauriAT0411 February
Aston MartinAMR2313 February
McLarenTBA13 February
FerrariTBA14 February
AlpineA52316 February
MercedesW1416 February
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Next Race
Bahrain 202305 Mar
BRITISH TIMESESSION
14:30 - 15:30Free practice 1
18:00 - 19:00Free practice 2
15:00 - 16:00Free practice 3
18:00 - 19:00Qualifying
18:00 - 20:00Race
Bahrain57 laps308.238 km
2023 F1 Calendar
RaceVenueDate
1BahrainSakhir5th Mar.
2SaudiJeddah19th Mar.
3AustralianAlbert P2nd Apr.
4AzerbaijanBaku City30th Apr.
5MiamiBaku City7th May
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Drivers Standings 2023
DriverTeamPoints
1Max Verstappen
2Lewis Hamilton
3George Russell
4Charles Leclerc
5Carlos Sainz
6Sergio Perez

Which team will surprise in the 2023 season?

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