Leclerc’s Prediction for Ferrari in Japan

Ferrari celebrated a triumph in the previous Australian Grand Prix, with Carlos Sainz clinching the race victory, thereby halting Red Bull’s impressive streak.

Looking ahead to the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, Charles Leclerc acknowledges the challenge for Ferrari to replicate their success against Red Bull, especially compared to their performance in Australia two weeks ago.

At Albert Park in Melbourne, Sainz secured the win for Ferrari by capitalizing on a critical brake issue faced by Max Verstappen of Red Bull. Even with Verstappen’s mechanical setback – his first in two years – Ferrari expressed confidence in their ability to contend for victory.

However, Suzuka presents a different set of challenges, ones that may not play to Ferrari’s strengths, according to Leclerc.

He remarked to the media, “I think for now, with what we know, I expect Red Bull to still have the upper hand this weekend.

“Especially coming on race day, we have a particular strength at tracks where graining is a thing. In Australia, it was the case two weeks ago, and there we were very strong.

“This weekend, it’s less a case of front graining, but more overall degradation. So I think Red Bull will get back to where they were before that.”

Currently, Leclerc trails championship leader Verstappen by just four points in the drivers’ standings after the first three rounds, benefiting from Verstappen’s failure to finish in Australia. While Leclerc commended Ferrari for maximizing their points, he feels that it doesn’t accurately reflect their true performance.

He emphasized, “It’s a very important part of the season where we need to maximize all the points that we can, which we have done. If we look at the first three races, I don’t think that being only four points behind Red Bull represents our true performance.

“Yes, we are closer than what we were in the past, but I think we’ve done a particularly good job at maximizing what we have at the moment. Until the upgrades, which I hope will put us in a better position to fight them regularly on Sundays, we need to bring as many points home as possible.”