Charles Leclerc accuses Helmut Marko of lying

Charles Leclerc has had a difficult season, prompting speculation that he is looking to leave Ferrari and join Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc has admitted that he’s “not buying” Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko’s fears that Ferrari are going to be very strong at the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, with the Monegasque believing that the Italians will “struggle”.

Ferrari have often performed very well at the Marina Bay Circuit, with Leclerc having beaten both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen to pole position last season.

Leclerc went onto finish second at the venue 12 months ago, whilst Perez stormed to victory.

In general, the 25-year-old has often looked very strong in Singapore, with him having finished second behind former team-mate Sebastian Vettel in 2019, in what was his first season for Ferrari.

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Even on his debut at the track in 2018, Leclerc still managed to score some points.

Due to the cancellation of the race in 2020 and 2021 following the COVID-19 pandemic, this weekend is only Leclerc’s fourth visit to Singapore.

Based on his previous results, Leclerc has been hailed as a Singapore “specialist” by Marko, something which has made the 80-year-old suspect that Ferrari will be very close to Red Bull.

“Like every race, we have had a competitive car everywhere so why should that not be the case in Singapore? But I have to say Ferrari and especially Leclerc is a specialist around there,” Marko told Autosport.

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“If they are faster in qualifying, then it could become a problem for us because overtaking in Singapore is very difficult. But I’m still optimistic that the package we are bringing to Singapore is good enough to win.”

Whilst Leclerc loves hearing people worry about Ferrari, he’s admitted that this weekend will be tougher than the recent Italian Grand Prix, where the Italians finished third and fourth.

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Leclerc believes that the fight for pole could be close but he expects Red Bull to not “have any threat” in terms of the race victory.

“It’s nice to read that [Red Bull are worried about Ferrari], but I’m not buying it at all. I mean I really think that they will be the strongest this weekend, especially come race day,” Leclerc told Sky Sports F1.

“In quali it may be close, but maybe not, I mean we don’t know. I think on a high downforce track like here, I expect us to struggle more than Monza, so I don’t think they will have any threat, I think they will be the fastest on track.”