Leclerc is confident Ferrari can hunt McLaren for P3 as he expects ‘solid race’ for Scuderia in Mexico
Ferrari and McLaren are only 3.5 points apart ahead of the Mexico City Grand Prix and Charles Leclerc has appeared to be quietly optimistic about Scuderia’s chances as they aim to close the gap and take third place in the Champions League. builders.
Leclerc, who clinched pole position here the last time F1 raced on the track in 2019, finished fourth in the 2021 United States Grand Prix two weeks ago, and aims to make it a third straight win at the Mexico. With Ferrari a mustache behind McLaren in the race for P3 in the standings, he weighed his team’s chances at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Thursday.
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“On paper this should be a better lead for us compared to Austin,” he said, “but it’s also true to say that sometimes we’ve had good and bad surprises compared to what we’re waiting on paper, so let’s not get too excited and still focus on our work. But it should be a pretty strong race for us if we compare ourselves to the other teams in the midfield. “
As for the fight against McLaren, he added: “We are still chasing them; we’re not ahead of them, so it’s going to be very, very close because it’s a very strong team, very consistent since the start of the year, so it’s not going to be easy.
“But like I said, we’ve been working well as a team since the start of the season – every time we’ve brought things [upgrades] it has gone in the right direction – so it looks good but again we have to try to do everything perfectly until the end of the season and I am convinced that we have a chance to finish ahead of them at the championship.
It’s not just Leclerc who is on a roll, but also his teammate Carlos Sainz, the Spaniard having scored in every race this season except Portugal and France, meaning Ferrari has scored in all races except one. this season: the French GP.
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“Yes, we’ve had some good races now,” said Leclerc, acknowledging the momentum from Ferrari. “Especially Austin has been a pretty solid race for us so it’s good to see it. It’s not a track that we expected to be strong or at least not stronger than McLaren, our main competitors this year, and we have been, so it shows that we are working in the right direction, and if we let’s keep working on it, so it looks good for the future. But yes, we have to keep our heads down and keep working.
“Our high downforce package has always worked pretty well this season – in Monaco, Budapest as well – so yes, we’ll probably use it here. That’s why I think we should be competitive [in Mexico], he concluded.