Charles Leclerc makes worrying claim about Aston Martin

Charles Leclerc remains wary of the threat of Aston Martin as Red Bull continue to surge ahead.

Charles Leclerc has claimed Ferrari has the third fastest car, as the Scuderia continues to trail behind Red Bull and Aston Martin in the constructors’ championship following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Once again Leclerc found success on the streets of Baku, with the driver recording his and Ferrari’s best result of 2023 with a third place finish.

The Monegasque driver had started on pole, but the persistent power of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez meant that the lead would slip.

The pace of Red Bull was defiant as ever, and Perez and Verstappen went on to deliver the team its third one-two result in the opening four races of 2023.

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It’s almost as if Leclerc was left to pick up the scraps despite claiming his first podium of the campaign.

With reference to the gap to the Red Bulls, Leclerc stated, “(I) Got closer, maybe a little, but still very far behind in race pace at least,”

“I also think we are behind Aston Martin in terms of race pace, so we really need to work on that.”

Leclerc was able to fend off Fernando Alonso to claim third, with a margin of just 0.8s.

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The Aston Martin driver rose to fourth shortly after his pit stop under Safety Car conditions.

The Spaniard dropped 4.5s to Leclerc before lifting his pace in the final 10 laps to put pressure on the Ferrari.

“He was he was pushing,” the Ferrari driver said.

“I knew what he is intentions were at the beginning, because he always does that; trying to keep the tyres at the beginning of the stains and push at the end, so I tried to do the same.

“At the end, it was close, but not enough for Fernando today.”

Leclerc claimed pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix, but missed out on the sprint victory to Sergio Perez.

The car also proved rapid in a straight line but ultimately had no answer to the RB19 in terms of race pace.

“For now, over one lap, taking a bit more risk – of course, I did also two great laps, I think, in qualifying which helped us to be in front – but then over 51 laps race, there’s not much we can do more,” Leclerc said.

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“Today, we’ve optimised absolutely everything.

“I think [what] we should be happy about after a weekend like this is that we’ve maximised every session.

“I don’t think we could have done anything better in any of those sessions, so that is a positive, but still a lot of work to do in terms of race pace.”