Charles Leclerc makes Mexico prediction, says Ferrari focused on 2023

Charles Leclerc goes into the Mexican Grand Prix with a two-point lead over Sergio Pérez in the battle for second in the standings.

Charles Leclerc goes into this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix on the back of a great recovery drive at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix, where he recovered from P12 to finish third.

The surprise podium saw the Monegasque move back ahead of Sergio Pérez in the fight for second in the Drivers’ Championship, with both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles already wrapped up.

For Leclerc and Ferrari, the final three races are more about taking confidence and momentum into 2023, after a year full of errors.

The errors in question have been down to both the team and Leclerc, with there appearing to be no innocent parties at the Maranello-based side.

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Leclerc is on a strong run of form heading into the weekend, after claiming podiums at the last five races in a row.

It’s actually his most consistent patch of the season; however, it’s all come too late to have any impact on the title.

Second is all that the 24-year-old can hope for now, with it being the Monegasque’s new target.

Should he extend his run of podiums this weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit, then the Ferrari driver will have achieved a new personal best result at the circuit in Mexico City.

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Leclerc has never claimed a podium at the highest circuit on the calendar, with his previous best having come in 2019, where he finished fourth.

Ferrari and Mercedes are both hoping that the thin air in Mexico City due to the high-altitude will see their speed deficit to Red Bull masked; however, Leclerc still sees the Austrians as the “team to beat on Sunday”.

“It’s difficult to know for now, [but] I still believe that Red Bull will be the team to beat on Sunday,” Leclerc said.

“They always seem to find something from the Saturday to the Sunday that we haven’t quite found yet, but we are getting there.

“I don’t know whether this track will be better or worse. But anyway, I believe it will be close on Sunday.”

Should Leclerc have a strong weekend, then it’ll give the Italians further belief heading into 2023, with the goal now for 2022 being to claim second in both championships and become a “better team for next year”.

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“With Ferrari we are working to win the World Championship, but now we know that winning the World Championship is not possible anymore,” added Leclerc.

“We’ll try and use these last three races in order to be a better team for next year, to challenge for the World Championship again.

“Having said that, second is better than third, and we’ll obviously give everything to beat Checo.”