Leclerc declares Ferrari has ‘work to do’
By Mat Coch
Sunday 26th February, 2023 - 12:50am
Charles Leclerc failed to paint a confident picture when asked about the potential of his Ferrari in this year’s F1 championship.
Ferrari has featured towards the top of the timesheet throughout pre-season testing in Bahrain this week, with Leclerc fastest in Saturday morning’s session.
However, common opinion within the paddock remains that Red Bull is the pacesetter, some way clear of the Scuderia.
“I feel we’ve got some work to do,” Leclerc admitted when Speedcafe.com asked about the potential of the Ferrari SF-23.
“Red Bull seems to be very strong in these three days, so still a bit of work.”
Teams have had just three days of running in Bahrain to understand their cars.
To lunch time on Saturday, that saw Ferrari clock 1845km of running between Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz.
The SF-23 has run without issue throughout that period, a positive omen for the team as far as reliability is concerned.
Ferrari’s testing programme
“We’ve had a very intense three days of testing,” Leclerc said of the programme this week.
“It’s not done yet, we still have some tests to do in the afternoon.
“The first day was all about doing big scans and trying to understand how well the data is matching with the ones we had at the factory prior to that test, which they were matching pretty well, which was good news.
“Yesterday [Friday], we had a bit of a difficult day trying to find the right setup of the car.
“This morning was a little bit better but still some work to do.
“It is a different car, you need to drive it a little bit differently,” he added.
“But that’s what testing is for; I’ve been trying a lot of different driving styles [and] seem to have found my way a little bit this morning, finally.
“But again, as I said, we still have some work to do.”
Pre-season testing concludes this afternoon with teams set to remain in Bahrain for the opening round of the 2023 F1 season, with on track action starting next Friday.
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