“Being P1 at this stage of the season doesn’t mean anything”: Charles Leclerc and Ferrari share an honest assessment of their three days of pre-season testing in Barcelona
|Published February 26, 2022
Ferrari completed 440 laps during pre-season testing in Barcelona and Charles Leclerc feels optimistic about their performance.
Pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona came to a close on Friday. On the third and last day, Mercedes ended with a 1-2 and Red Bull with a 3-4, in the lap-timing charts.
However, throughout the course of testing, Ferrari completed more laps than any other team on the grid. Both Leclerc and teammate Carlos Sainz put in consistently strong displays on all three days and their F1-75 didn’t show any sign of reliability issues.
Looking back on the first pre-season testing of the season, Leclerc feels reasonably confident. He said he’s happy with how the car feels but insists that finishing P1 in pre-season ‘does not mean much.’
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“We are quite happy that things have gone smoothly,” he said. “On the other hand, we are working harder than ever to try and keep our heads down. It’s of course nice to see yourself P1 but that doesn’t mean anything and I think everyone is aware of this in the team.”
Most of the teams are expected to field a completely different car at the next pre-season testing in Bahrain. As a result, they’re not focusing on getting strong lap times but want to gather as much data about their new cars as possible.
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Ferrari will try to push the car a little bit more in Bahrain, says Charles Leclerc
Leclerc went on to say that Ferrari were not trying focus much on performances in Barcelona. Their main objective was to try different things out before the real racing action starts next month.
“So we are not really focusing on the performance at all,” Leclerc continued. “Trying as many things as possible, trying to understand where is the 100% of this car and that’s it. And now we are already focused on Bahrain, trying to push the car a bit more there.”
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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto himself admitted that they are ‘far from their best performance’. While they won’t make any drastic changes to their car, their pace is expected to only get stronger as the year progresses.
“Today we are focused more on that one, not only in terms of setup & engineering but also driving style,” said Binotto. Let’s wait and see what the others will bring.”
“Certainly as Ferrari we are always concerned on upgrades of our competitors. I think they will be very strong by then.”
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