Charles Leclerc makes Ferrari demand ahead of Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Ferrari appears a shadow of the team that claimed P2 in last season’s Constructors’ Championship, sitting in fourth place after three races.

Charles Leclerc is arguably experiencing the toughest period of his Formula 1 career, having suffered two DNFs out of three races.

Bahrain saw the Monegasque return to the garage after an engine failure, while the Australian Grand Prix ended early for Leclerc after he was spun into the gravel trap on lap one.

Despite the painful start to the season, Leclerc has claimed that he and Ferrari are “fully motivated” to get their season back on track, using the extended April break to address their performance problems.

Due to the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix, teams have been given four weeks between rounds three and four to return to their home bases and bring forward upgrade packages.

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Ferrari’s challenging start to the 2023 campaign has left the team almost 100 points behind the title leaders Red Bull, making a shot at the Constructors’ title increasingly unlikely.

“I think in the situation we are in as a team, we take this as an opportunity to work as much as possible during this break, in order to get upgrades as quickly as possible and be as competitive as we want sooner in this season,” Leclerc revealed.

“It’s still a very, very long season. We are fully motivated to get back on top and we’ll try to use these weeks [before Azerbaijan] in the best way possible.

“We know the story about last year, and now it’s all about focusing on what we can do better to improve and to come back to their [Red Bull’s] level. 

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“We know where we need to work on and now we just need to make it happen.

“We seem to be quite good in terms of qualifying whenever the peak grip is there, but then whenever we lose a little bit of grip in the race, it starts to be very, very difficult, and we seem to lose quite a lot of performance, so on that we need to work,” he added.

Leclerc is sat in 10th place in the Drivers’ Standings with just 6 points, compared to Max Verstappen’s 69 points.