Charles Leclerc suspects Ferrari’s rivals are disguising their true pace after the Mercedes drivers claimed the Italian team has begun testing in strong shape.Valtteri Bottas said Ferrari’s lap times were convincing regardless of their fuel load or engine mode. But speaking to RaceFans and other media at the Circuit de Cataluntya this afternoon Leclerc played down Ferrari’s promising start to the season.
“The performance has no sense for now because it remains testing,” he said. “They are probably not pushing and we are not either. We don’t know how much the others are sandbagging so we’ll see at the first race.
“I think the main importance for this test is to do the program of the day and that’s what we are doing so we are happy.”
Leclerc has joined the team from Sauber, which is now Alfa Romeo. But despite having stepped into a potentially race-winning seat Leclerc says he isn’t entertaining thoughts of being able to win the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
“I’m not really focusing on the result at the moment,” he said. “As I’ve said in the past I think if I’m focusing mainly on myself, trying to do the best job possible in the car and out of the car, I’m pretty sure that the results will come at one point.
“So I just need to focus fully on myself. I don’t want to put in my head ‘okay I need to win the first race’. This is not what is in my head at the moment. I just want to grow as much as possible until the first race, be as comfortable as possible in the team and with the car and then the results will come.”
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2019 F1 season
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- How the FIA’s new encrypted fuel flow meter targets Ferrari’s suspected ‘aliasing’ trick
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- ‘I should have done a better job. There’s things that I know I can do better’