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No Excuses from Leclerc: “[Sainz] is Doing a Better Job”

“I think it's as simple as he's doing a better job," Leclerc explained....

Given the high standards Charles Leclerc has set for himself, the start to the 2024 season hasn’t been his strongest. It’s been far from bad, but his teammate, Carlos Sainz, has been consistently outperforming him in both the race and qualifying.

When asked by the media ahead of the Chinese GP whether he attributed Sainz’s performance to greater adaptation to the SF-24, Leclerc said his teammate is simply performing better.

“I think it’s as simple as he’s doing a better job. I think in Bahrain, it’s difficult to compare because on my side I was facing issues and I think it was a very strong weekend apart from that,” Leclerc explained.

“However, in the last two races, he’s just been stronger. It’s up to me now to work, especially in the qualifying pace, which is normally a strength. 

“I’ve been struggling to put the lap together; it’s a very fine line to get it right or completely wrong on the out lap and putting the tyres in the right window.

“For now, I have been struggling more than what Carlos has done and he’s driving at a very high level.  I have been working a lot on that. And normally when I work on points, I’m quite confident on improving pretty quickly.

“I’m not worried, but obviously now I need to show that on track – starting from tomorrow in qualifying.”

Leclerc went on to add that things should go well for Ferrari in China. The circuit’s characteristics favour the nature of the SF-24 with it’s low-speed corners.

“On paper, I think it’s a track where we could be a bit stronger compared to Suzuka, but we’ll just approach it the same way; I still think that Red Bull will have the upper hand this weekend,” Leclerc explained.

“We’ll just have to focus on ourselves, because it can be very easy [to make mistakes] as we’ve seen especially in qualifying in Suzuka – I didn’t do a good job the Saturday and then you don’t go from fourth to fifth, but you go from fourth to eighth.

“I think in the race we will be [closer]. But let’s see, it’s been a very long time since we last drove here. I saw the track was painted, or there was something strange on it, so also this we will have to see how our car behaves on that, and what are the main limitations in the race.

“But on paper, I think we shall be closer to them.”

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