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


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.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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