Can Charles Leclerc and Ferrari challenge Red Bull for Australian GP pole?

Charles Leclerc has expressed his opinion that qualifying and the 2023 Australian Grand Prix should be a close battle between Ferrari and Red Bull

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Charles Leclerc feels Ferrari could be closer to Red Bull in Saturday’s qualifying session for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix.

The 2023 F1 season hasn’t started well for the Maranello-based outfit, but both practice sessions were positive for Leclerc as he set the fifth-fastest time in the morning and the second-quickest time in the afternoon.

“We did quite a lot of scans in terms of set-up direction,” said Leclerc to the media. “I think the feeling is a bit better than in Bahrain and Jeddah. It’s probably our most positive FP2 of the season.

“It doesn’t mean much, but at least it’s a Friday which ends on a positive note. Hopefully, we’ll be a bit closer to the Red Bulls tomorrow.”

Charles Leclerc at 2023 Australian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Closer race anticipated

Although he hasn’t taken a pole position since the 2022 Singapore GP, Leclerc thinks he can break the drought at a track where he dominated last year.

However qualifying, the team hopes to learn more about its long-run pace after curtailing its expected Friday programme following a rain-affected FP2.

“I think it will be close once again in the race,” said Leclerc. “Unfortunately, with the rain, nobody did the high-fuel runs.

“We are going a little bit blind into the race, so hopefully, in FP3, we’ll see more long runs, and we will manage to learn a bit more then.”

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