Leclerc: Ferrari’s Monaco F1 practice form too good to believe

Charles Leclerc is refusing to get carried away with Ferrari’s pace-setting in Formula 1 practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, calling it “too good to believe”.

Leclerc: Ferrari’s Monaco F1 practice form too good to believe

Ferrari turned heads with its performance on Thursday in Monaco as Leclerc headed up a 1-2 finish in FP2, edging out team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr by one-tenth of a second.

It marked Ferrari’s first 1-2 in any race weekend session since second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2019, and spoiled the expected dominance of Mercedes and Red Bull in Monaco.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were both left surprised by Ferrari’s pace, but felt there was a genuine three-team fight brewing this weekend.

Leclerc felt he had left “still a bit of margin” through Thursday’s running, meaning Ferrari had more time to find, but was confident Mercedes and Red Bull would make bigger strides forward.

“I’m sure that Mercedes and Red Bull have more margin than we have,” Leclerc said.

“So we shouldn’t get carried away too much. We’ll have one day tomorrow to work hard, and then let’s see where we’ll end up.”

PRIME:

Asked if he felt as optimistic as the P1 time suggested Ferrari should be, Leclerc replied: “Not yet, I want to wait for Saturday for now.

“It’s looking good. For now it’s looking a bit too good to believe it.

“So let’s wait and see. Saturday, we’ll know exactly where we are in qualifying, and we’ll go from there for the race.”

Read Also:

The surge to P1 left Leclerc surprised after he was forced to sit out most of first practice due to a gearbox issue, leaving him low on mileage for the day.

“I was quite surprised that it ended that way [in FP2], because Monaco, here especially, it’s quite important to do as many laps as we can,” Leclerc said. “Unfortunately with the issue I had in FP1, I had only done four laps. But I felt quite at ease with the car in FP2, and managed to put that lap there.”

The difficulty of the Monaco street circuit meant Leclerc was unable to rely heavily on Sainz’ data gathered through FP1, but was able to quickly build his confidence back up in FP2.

“Honestly, on the driver’s side, for me, it’s nearly impossible to find references with what he’s doing, because at the end I don’t have my own references,” Leclerc explained. “So it’s all about basically going out in FP2, trying to take your time to get to speed, trying to take your own references.

“After the first run, I could compare a little bit with Carlos to see where I was lacking. And I just did that for the end of FP2.”

shares
comments

Related video

How real is the protest threat over F1’s flexi-wing row?

Previous article

How real is the protest threat over F1’s flexi-wing row?

Next article

Alfa Romeo blasts FIA’s flexi-wing clampdown ‘a joke’

Alfa Romeo blasts FIA’s flexi-wing clampdown ‘a joke’
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021