Leclerc does not believe in Formula 1 victory in Baku: “There is no pace”
Charles Leclerc has the best starting position. But it will be difficult with a Formula 1 victory in Baku, he says. Big favorite is world champion Max Verstappen.
Despite his pole position, Vice World Champion Charles Leclerc does not see particularly good prospects of his first Formula 1 win of the season. “We’re still lacking some pace in the race and have been for a while,” said the Ferrari star ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. And he became even clearer: “We are not yet at the level of Red Bull.”
However, the Scuderia has made a big step forward in the past few days. The 25-year-old Leclerc made it into first place on the grid in both qualifications and finished second in the sprint. The Monegasque deliberately let the victorious Sergio Perez pass, knowing he couldn’t keep him behind. Leclerc kept world champion Max Verstappen at bay and rewarded himself with his best result of the season. In the normal races he is still missing a podium place before the fourth round of the season.
Respect for Red Bull
Leclerc believes it will “certainly be difficult” to beat Red Bull drivers Perez and Verstappen. Last year’s winner Verstappen from the Netherlands is in the front row next to Leclerc, with the Mexican Perez right behind him in third place. “I’m confident that I’ll fight for victory,” said Verstappen: “But let’s see, it’s Baku and anything can happen there!”
There have been several dramatic races on the narrow street circuit in recent years, some with serious accidents. Verstappen leads before the fourth round of the season with 13 points in the overall standings ahead of Perez. In tenth, Leclerc only has six points to his credit.