Leclerc makes Red Bull pressure vow

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Charles Leclerc believes Ferrari’s “clear ideas” on how to improve the SF24 will allow it to put Red Bull “under pressure” as the 2024 F1 season develops.

Ferrari has made a strong start to the campaign and is comfortably the second-strongest team ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz have both finished third once this season, although Red Bull remain out of reach.

Leclerc feels the Scuderia is at least in “a better situation compared to last year, for sure,” however, the deficit to Red Bull “is still significant”.

“We are speaking about maybe four-tenths [of a second] a lap in the race,” said Leclerc, speaking to select media, including RacingNews365.

“I am more optimistic, not looking at the gap but more looking at the overall situation of the team, the way we are working and also the way we have very clear ideas on what we need to improve to take steps forward.

“That’s what gives me the confidence that at some point during the season we will be putting them [Red Bull] more under pressure at some tracks. For now, we see the gap remains too big for us to realistically take a normal win.”

Impact of Vasseur

Behind the “clear ideas” that are driving the Maranello-based outfit forward is team principal Fred Vasseur. The recent winter break was the Frenchman’s first in full with Ferrari, with the results now more on show.

“What’s really important for Fred, is to have very clear ideas and to help the team to choose what are the main areas in which we need to work on,” assessed Leclerc.

“When you look, a weekend is 1000 things that you could have optimised for. Then you obviously need to make it clear that these are the top three things that we need to focus on, and that there are not 20 of them to have all the people on board and pushing for the same thing.

“I think on that, Fred has been very, very clear on which directions to take, and on how it has paid off.”

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