Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2024

Leclerc can still find “quite a bit of lap time” after leading practice

Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc says he knows he can go quicker after leading Friday practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver was a tenth of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton around his home track, and more than four tenths of a second ahead of everyone else. But afterwards he said “I think there’s more pace in me just putting everything together,” around the short but demanding circuit.

“If you look at my three sectors, there was quite a bit of lap time in them when you put all of it together,” he told the official F1 channel. “So that will be the main focus for tomorrow. But that performance and feeling is there.”

At the end of the second practice session Leclerc told his race engineer Bryan Bozzi: “The long run is a disaster. We are so slow.” However he said afterwards he is confident in his car’s performance.

“I think on the medium we’re really strong,” said Leclerc. “On the soft, we struggled to put everything together. There was a lot of traffic all the way.

“But all in all we have a good car for the moment. I feel quite confident with the car.

“However, it’s important that we keep this rhythm into FP3 because it’s the way Monaco is. I might have taken a bit more risk compared to the others today, which paid off. However, it’s all about tomorrow in quali when everybody starts to go on the limit.

“Until now I think we’ve done a really, really good job. We need to keep working, keep focusing on ourselves. But it’s a positive first day.”

Leclerc has taken pole position for two of the last three Monaco grands prix but remains yet to win his home race. He is also wary of the threat from Mercedes, who were stronger than usual on Friday.

“This weekend we seem fast,” he said. “Mercedes, that have been struggling since the beginning of the season, they are very fast this weekend. So we expect them to be just the same tomorrow.

Lewis [Hamilton] has been on it all day. So we’ve got to maximise everything tomorrow and hopefully we’ll put it on pole.”

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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...

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