Leclerc Eyeing A Surprise Challenge Against Red Bulls In Saudi Arabia

Saturday, 09 March 2024 at 16:00
charles leclerc ferrari36
Charles Leclerc will be hoping to stand on the podium after the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as he wants to challenge Red Bull.
The Monegasque driver qualified on the front row once again, putting his Ferrari right behind the pole-sitter, Max Verstappen, who will have the shortest distance to Turn 1 on Saturday.
In the first race of the season, Leclerc struggled with his breaks, which ultimately made him unable to fight for the podium, but at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, the 26-year-old wants to challenge the leading team in the World Constructors' Championship.
Speaking immediately after the qualifying, Leclerc admitted that he couldn't make any faster lap, as he gave it all the car could handle, and unfortunately for him, it wasn't enough for P1.

"Yeah, the first lap in Q3, we tried something different, doing a preparation lap, but that didn't work out well for us. Then in the second lap, I put everything together and that was what was in the car today. So I'm really happy with the lap."

In the previous seasons, Ferrari usually had the stronger car for the qualifying, but that is seemingly changing in 2024. Although he's aware that he may have better race pace than in previous years, Leclerc was a bit sad by not being able to challenge for the pole position in the qualifying.
Still, the Monegasque driver will hope to challenge Red Bull drivers on Saturday, which he called "a good surprise" if it were to happen during the Grand Prix.

"A shame that we are a bit further away than what we hoped in qualifying, but tomorrow is the race and I hope we'll have a good surprise and that we'll be able to challenge the Red Bulls in front."

The Ferrari driver also recognized efforts from his team to make the car more competitive. Although they are not allowed to change it between the qualifying and the race, Leclerc believes the changes made during the off-season should help to be faster in the race.

"For sure, we did a step forward compared to last year. I felt more comfortable in the car. I think the car is in a better place in race runs. So we just have to focus on ourselves. And obviously, we cannot change the car now for tomorrow. So we'll try and optimise everything else for the race. And then let's see what's possible tomorrow."