Current world Formula 1 championship leader Charles Leclerc believes that the characteristics of the revised Albert Park track are not really to the Scuderia’s advantage.
The Monegasque, who is currently leading the championship after his victory in Bahrain and a second place in Saudi Arabia, has a 12-point lead over his team-mate Carlos Sainz and a 20-point lead over the 2021 title holder, Max Verstappen. Charles Leclerc believes that the Melbourne track and its lengthened straights will be less advantageous for Ferrari than the two previous circuits.
“Overall, I think the characteristics of the circuit don’t quite fit our car,” said Leclerc.
“Everything is still to be done and I still think we’ll be in the mix; it’s still going to be very close, it’s not like it’s going to be a big gap, so if we do the perfect weekend, anything is possible.”
“I think the old track would have suited us better, but that’s the way it is now, and we will try to maximise everything this weekend as always. Imola will probably be a track that will suit us a bit better.”
The Albert Park track now features four DRS zones for the first time in F1. Leclerc believes they will have to “play it smart” with their strategy, with DRS having played a crucial role in the outcome of the first two races of 2022.
“It’s always quite tricky, but I always try to do the best job I can and obviously with the weakness we have with straight line speed against Red Bull, we have to try to play it smart,” the Ferrari driver said on Thursday in the Melbourne paddock.
“We’ve seen in the last two races this strategy with DRS, and I’m pretty sure we’ll see it even more here because basically all straights have a DRS zone. Being smart can make a big difference here.”