Charles Leclerc explains why Las Vegas GP pole position is key to breaking winless streak

Charles Leclerc starts the 2023 Las Vegas GP on pole for Ferrari ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes' George Russell

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Charles Leclerc believes the Las Vegas Grand Prix provides his best opportunity at victory in the 2023 Formula 1 season after he landed a sensational pole position, four tenths ahead of Max Verstappen.

Leclerc‘s failed to convert his last 12 pole positions into race victory and crashed from second on the formation lap of the Brazilian GP a fortnight ago, he last tasted victory in F1 almost 500 days ago.

From 27 pole positions, Leclerc‘s scored just five victories and the last time he won from the front is the 2022 Australian GP, but he has reason to believe it’ll be a different story in Las Vegas.

“The confidence is high because we are starting first so it’s the best position to start from,” Leclerc told the press. “On the other hand, we know that Red Bull is going to be very strong and Max [Verstappen] obviously is going to be very strong in race pace.

“But I feel like we’ve had positive signs this weekend on the high fuel more than other races. So I hope we can convert that pole position into a win.”

It’s the third time in four races that Leclerc has taken pole, but Verstappen passed him on the inside in both Austin and Mexico City, before going on to take victory for Red Bull.

Leclerc can’t take Singapore positives to Las Vegas

Carlos Sainz wins the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Ferrari are the only team to deny Red Bull a clean sweep of race wins in 2023, as Carlos Sainz took victory in Singapore thanks to a stout defensive drive at the death.

That was the second of Sainz‘s last five pole positions that he converted to race victory, but Leclerc stressed that Las Vegas was a very different story despite both being street circuits.

“I think in Singapore in some places you can drive for one-and-a-half, two seconds off the pace and still the cars behind cannot overtake so here it’s going to be very, very different,” Leclerc added.

“Pace will have a much more important role in the race, we have to do a good job on that. But until now honestly we looked quite good, stronger than other races. Not to say that we are stronger in race pace compared to Max, but I think we are closer than other races.

“So if there’s one race to win since Singapore it’s this one and I’ll obviously give it my all.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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