Charles Leclerc was the driver to beat during second practice for the Australian Grand Prix, but the Ferrari driver believes Red Bull will answer back when the fight for pole takes place on Saturday.
Ferrari continued their strong start to the 2022 F1 season at Albert Park, with Carlos Sainz taking top spot in FP1. Leclerc’s pace setting time of 1:18.978 in the second session was a full 0.25s faster than rival Max Verstappen, however the Red Bull driver was hindered by traffic and a lock up during his flying laps.
As a result, the Ferrari ace expects things to be much closer during Saturday’s action.
“Yes, I think already today they [Red Bull] have more than what they’ve shown just because they did not put the lap together,” Leclerc told Formula1.com. “Max had a bit of traffic in his fast lap.
“It is going to be very close, so we will have to maximise our car to be starting on pole on Sunday.”
Sainz caught out by new Albert Park tarmac
F1 haven’t visited Albert Park since 2019, with the last two editions of the Grand Prix cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A lot has changed since then, with organisers making seven changes to the layout, while also widening the pit lane and resurfacing the track for the first time since F1’s inaugural visit back in 1996.
The new tarmac made things tricky for Sainz, but not enough to dampen his spirits ahead of qualifying.
“It was quite tricky out there, very tricky tarmac, we found it… quite tough out there to drive,” Sainz told Formula1.com.
“You also saw the struggles that we were having with the bouncing, so it is not easy at the moment, but at the same time I’ve been quick [in] the two sessions, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”