Leclerc’s Outstanding Lap: Ferrari’s Turning Point?
Ferrari’s rising star Charles Leclerc has once again showcased his prowess by securing pole position at the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, marking a pivotal moment for the team. Amidst a challenging start to the season, Leclerc’s outstanding performance signals an upturn in both qualifying and race pace.
Charles Leclerc feels that Ferrari has shown improvement in both qualifying and race performance after securing pole position at the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
This marks Leclerc’s third consecutive pole in Baku and the 19th of his career, happening at a crucial moment for the team.
Leclerc commented on his impressive lap, saying, “It was truly an excellent one. I’m not sure if it was the best, but I recall a great lap in 2021 here that was even more surprising. Nonetheless, this was definitely an outstanding lap.”
Leclerc has faced a challenging start to the 2023 season, with two retirements in the first three races. One of these was due to a racing incident in Australia, while the other resulted from reliability problems with his Ferrari in Bahrain.
Throughout the year, Ferrari has demonstrated strong single-lap speed but has had difficulty maintaining that performance during races. This weekend, they introduced the least number of upgrades among all teams, with a modified rear wing being the sole alteration to the car that raced in Australia.
In contrast, Red Bull has brought five new components this weekend, and the rest of the field has introduced a similar amount. Despite this, Ferrari has made progress, building on the momentum they gained in Melbourne.
Leclerc believes there has been a significant improvement in the car’s setup. He stated, “Qualifying hasn’t been that bad since the start of the season. In Australia, we didn’t do a great job, and I think my driving wasn’t up to par. But before that, we were not too far behind. I believe we’ve made some gains in qualifying, and I expect the improvement to be more noticeable in the race, although we were further behind there. However, I think the progress mainly comes from the setup.”
These advancements started to show in Australia, although Leclerc’s performance was limited that day. He elaborated, “One thing is certain: we made progress in Australia. While I couldn’t demonstrate it, Carlos had a much better feeling during the race. We still need to evaluate the extent of the improvement on Sunday. We have some uncertainties, but I am convinced that we have taken steps in the right direction.”
For Sunday’s race, Leclerc will be accompanied on the front row by Max Verstappen. Another qualifying session, the Sprint Shootout, is scheduled for tomorrow, with drivers returning to the track at 12:30 local time (18:30 AEST) before the F1 Sprint takes place later in the day.
Leclerc’s Outstanding Lap: Ferrari’s Turning Point? F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku Leclerc’s Outstanding Lap: Ferrari’s Turning Point? F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku Leclerc’s Outstanding Lap: Ferrari’s Turning Point? F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku Leclerc’s Outstanding Lap: Ferrari’s Turning Point? F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku Leclerc’s Outstanding Lap: Ferrari’s Turning Point? F1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku
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