At this time, Charles Leclerc leads the Formula 1 world championship for the first time, in part, thanks to the good performance of the Ferrari car this season. The Monegasque driver took victory in the opening round in Bahrain and a second position in Saudi Arabia, enough to lead his team-mate, Carlos Sainz, by 12 points.
The third round of the calendar will be key to knowing who is ahead before landing on the European tour that will start in Imola, and that will have an exception in May with the first race in history in Miami, so Leclerc wants to stay in front .
The first free practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix went from less to more for the Ferrari driver, as he rose from second place, more than half a second behind Sainz, to the head of the time table in the afternoon in Melbourne .
“A difficult day, especially in Free Practice 1 for me, although we improved a bit by working on the car, and I hope we make another step forward tomorrow,” said the Monegasque. “It has been a difficult Friday, but in Free Practice 2 I have improved in driving”.
The Maranello team driver also shared his impressions on the porpoising effect, which is affecting the teams so much in 2022: “I don’t think it’s related to fuel, I think it depends more on the track. In Bahrain we suffered a little , in Jeddah a little less, and now a little more”.
“It’s not that nice, but we’re working on it,” continued the world championship leader. “For now, it’s not a limitation for lap time, it’s just for comfort on the straights, although I’m not here to have a car that’s comfortable, I’m here to have a fast one, and so far it’s looking good.”
Charles Leclerc was able to finish ahead of the two Red Bull cars, which, initially, should be the rivals for the title in the current Formula 1 season, but he doesn’t trust them: “I think today they had more from what they’ve shown, they just haven’t put it on the lap. Max [Verstappen] had some traffic, I think it was on his qualifying attempt, so it’s going to be very close.”
“We will have to max out our car to start on pole position. I don’t think anyone has pushed to the max on their lap, qualifying is tomorrow when we hope to put in a good performance. Let’s go for it!” Leclerc insisted.
The 24-year-old also commented on the changes to the Albert Park circuit to improve the spectacle and overtaking: “It was quite slippery, but it always happens here on Fridays, because obviously we haven’t been driving for two years.”
“So it takes a bit of time until the track improves and we get the final grip for qualifying, but overall it’s been a pretty positive day.”