Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Leclerc encouraged by ‘one of the smoothest pre-season preparations I’ve had’

2022 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc was encouraged by Ferrari’s productive pre-season tests but said he is unsure how competitive the team will be in the first race of the new season this weekend.

“It’s definitely been a smooth six days of testing,” said Leclerc as F1’s pre-season running drew to a close in Bahrain last week.

“It’s definitely one of the smoothest preparations I’ve had for a season,” he added. “No major issues.”

Ferrari covered more kilometres in testing than any team bar Mercedes, who only did a handful more. Leclerc said it was an impressive start for the team given the radical change in technical regulations for the new season.

“On such a new project you always expect to find some barriers in the way,” he said. “For now, apart from proposing which is still kind of an issue in some conditions, it’s been quite smooth and we managed to just keep improving.”

However he hasn’t drawn any conclusions regarding how competitive Ferrari may be. “As we’ve seen Red Bull had quite a new package [on the final day], Mercedes had a complete new car and didn’t really show their potential. Actually everyone seems to be quite close at some point or another.

“It’s very, very difficult to know how much they have in margin. We know how much margin we have but we have no idea how much they hide their gains.

“So for now it’s very difficult and that’s why I think we need to really stay cautious because it’s nice to be in the front but it doesn’t mean anything for now.”

His team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr dismissed suggestions Ferrari’s testing form showed they will begin the season in competitive shape.

“Everyone is impressed like everyone was impressed in ’18, ’19, ’17 and we all know testing means nothing,” he said. “So I don’t know why people keep falling into the same trap year after year of trying to analyse testing too much.”

He rejected Lewis Hamilton’s claim the testing times showed the season was likely to begin with a one-two for Ferrari or Red Bull. “Same thing,” said Sainz. “Typical Mercedes, typical Lewis. Nothing new to me.”

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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22 comments on “Leclerc encouraged by ‘one of the smoothest pre-season preparations I’ve had’”

  1. I’m proposing a new name for porpoising. Any ideas.

    1. booty clapping ??

    2. It should atleast include its mother’s name.

    3. Bumpeh ride?

    4. Aerobounce.

    5. Cowgirling

    6. Killer whaling.

    7. Flippy!

    8. RocketTankski
      15th March 2022, 21:49

      Free Willy


      Moving up and down side to side like a roller coaster!

      Norrising or Sainzing

    10. Airwave riding!

    11. RocketTankski
      16th March 2022, 9:31

      Tarmac surfing.

  2. “For now, apart from proposing which is still kind of an issue…” – PROPOSING is always an issue for single men. lol

    1. So you’re saying it’s easier for married men?

  3. Ferrari, Kings of testing. Mercedes, Kings.

    1. I am sure Mercedes is going to flame when they get the car working 100% not sure if that happens this weekend.

  4. Sainz’s response is the most accurate one.

  5. Can we see car comparisons like earlier here? (photos from front, back side views)
    It was so cool!!

  6. This Ferrari has to be one of the best looking F1 cars ever made. I hope Leclerc and Sainz get some wins this year!

    1. I agree, it very much reminds me of the early 90s F1 cars – which as a group were the best looking in history.
      The other contenders this year, not so much – maybe the Alfa and the Aston come close.

      Unfortunately, good looks sometimes mean under developed aero.

    2. the history learns us that a pretty car isn’t a fast car while very often een ugly car is really fast (Looking to Mercedes)

      Mercedes sidepods look like a lot of fighter planes anyone noticed that?

  7. Tarmac kissing.

Comments are closed.