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Leclerc credit Australian GP set-up breakthrough for Baku F1 pole

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With a 1m40.203s lap on the shut of the session, Leclerc chalked up his first pole of the season – his nineteenth in F1 – to beat the Pink Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez to the punch.

Leclerc admitted his shock at beating the brace of RB19s to the entrance of the grid, however he defined that a lot of the groundwork had been laid by the group through the Australian Grand Prix weekend.

Though Ferrari failed to attain at Albert Park, owing to Leclerc’s early retirement and Carlos Sainz’s penalty for inflicting a ultimate restart conflict with Fernando Alonso, the group made good strides with its SF-23 amid a troublesome begin to the 12 months.

Leclerc added that he felt a lot of Ferrari’s points in Australia had been of his personal making, masking the set-up good points that the Scuderia had been in a position to purchase all through the earlier spherical.

“One factor for certain is that I believe we did a step ahead in Australia; on my aspect I clearly could not present it, however on Carlos’s aspect, I believe the sensation was significantly better through the race.

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“Then how significantly better [we are in the race] we nonetheless must see on Sunday. So I believe on that, we nonetheless have some query marks, however I’m completely certain that we did some steps in the correct path. I am undecided whether or not it is sufficient [to beat Red Bull] although.

“I believe there’s been a great step by way of set-up. The qualifying because the starting of the season hasn’t been that unhealthy.

“I believe in Australia, we did not do a fantastic job, I believe I didn’t drive nicely. Earlier than that, we weren’t that far off, so I believe we gained just a little bit in qualifying.

Pole man Charles Leclerc, Scuderia Ferrari, in Parc Ferme

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“I count on the sport to be extra within the race, however we had been additionally a lot additional behind within the race. However I believe it is largely set-up.”

Leclerc added that Ferrari “wanted” the increase of a Components 1 pole for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after a troublesome week within the information for the group.

Ferrari was hit this week by the announcement of the departure of sporting director Laurent Mekies, who will go away the group at an undisclosed date to take up the group principal function at AlphaTauri after Franz Tost leaves on the finish of 2023.

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This got here amid rumours that Leclerc had been in talks with Mercedes over a possible drive on the German producer, which he denied on Thursday.

“I imply, it is good. It feels good. I believe for the entire group wanted it as a result of, we arrive right here the place it is a part of our job, I believe any group in Components One, you’ll want to take care of rumours and stress.

“But it surely’s clearly generally a bit tougher to carry out below these circumstances. And we did very well, so I believe it’s good for the entire group.”

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