Connect with us

Formula 1

From Pole to Podium: Leclerc’s Struggle Against Red Bull in Azerbaijan



Leclerc Azerbaijan GP 2023 F1

In a dramatic twist at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc faced the harsh reality of Red Bull’s undisputed dominance. Despite securing pole positions for both the sprint and main race, Leclerc couldn’t outpace Sergio Perez and ultimately finished third. The Monegasque driver acknowledged the significant gap between Ferrari and Red Bull’s race pace and the need for improvements.

Charles Leclerc of Ferrari conceded that Red Bull was on another level in Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix today.

The driver from Monaco secured pole position for both the sprint and main race this weekend, only to be beaten in both by Sergio Perez.

Leclerc was not shocked by this outcome, as he was well aware that despite Ferrari’s single lap advantage in qualifying, they couldn’t compete with the RB19’s straight line speed on the lengthy main straight.

“In terms of the race, they’re in a separate league,” Leclerc shared with the media in the parc ferme following the race’s conclusion, where he finished third, significantly behind Perez and his teammate Max Verstappen.

Leclerc acknowledged that while their excellent qualifying lap put them at the front, maintaining that position over 51 laps was not feasible. “They possess much greater race pace than we do,” he admitted.

He emphasized that their biggest progress needs to come in race pace. In qualifying, they managed to secure two pole positions by extracting more from the tires and taking extra risks. Leclerc believes Red Bull discovered something over the winter that Ferrari has yet to find, and the team is currently focusing on improving race performance.


Although he didn’t achieve victory this weekend, Leclerc can take some comfort in securing his first podium of the season, especially after a difficult start that saw him finish in the points only once before Baku.

Leclerc expressed his ambition to win, saying, “Obviously, second, third is not what I want.” However, he admitted that this weekend was an improvement compared to the first three races, where he scored just six points. He noted that they had a trouble-free weekend and maximized every session.

While Leclerc agreed that they should be satisfied with their performance, he emphasized that there is still work to be done.

Leclerc maintained that his feeling about the race was somewhat better, but he acknowledged the gap between him and the Red Bull drivers. He speculated that they might not have been pushing at 100%, so it’s unclear how much Ferrari has reduced the gap.

Moreover, Ferrari faced pressure from Aston Martin, particularly Fernando Alonso, who continued to perform well. Leclerc admitted that Aston Martin had a better car and faster race pace than Ferrari.

Leclerc was aware of Alonso’s strategy of preserving tires early in the stint and pushing hard at the end. He tried to do the same. In the end, it was a close call, but Alonso didn’t manage to overtake Leclerc, who said with a smile, “The Aston Martin was really quick today, so we still have a lot of work to do.”

Leclerc revealed that some upgrades are coming for the Miami race, but he doesn’t expect any miracles. He hopes that the minor changes will be enough to keep Aston Martin at bay.


Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz, started from fourth place but was passed by Alonso during the race. He finished in fifth place, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Sainz conceded that the weekend was about damage control, as he struggled to feel comfortable with this year’s Ferrari. He explained that he lacked the confidence to push the car and get close to the walls in Baku, which made driving the car challenging.

Sainz acknowledged that they managed to extract performance from the car, but when comparing their race pace to that of Aston Martin and Red Bull, the other teams still had significantly better race pace compared to their qualifying pace.

Addressing this issue is a high priority for Ferrari, as Sainz emphasized that points are earned on Sundays, and that’s when they need to be faster.

Sainz stated that the team would now focus on analyzing the weekend’s events and use the time before the Miami race to understand what could have been improved. He expressed optimism that they would be back in form for the Miami race.

Leclerc Azerbaijan GP 2023 F1 Leclerc Azerbaijan GP 2023 F1 Leclerc Azerbaijan GP 2023 F1 Leclerc Azerbaijan GP 2023 F1 Leclerc Azerbaijan GP 2023 F1 Leclerc Azerbaijan GP 2023 F1 Leclerc Azerbaijan GP 2023 F1

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.