Charles Leclerc warns Lewis Hamilton after Japanese GP

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell cost Mercedes points at the 2023 Japanese GP, as they battled one another.

Charles Leclerc expressed confidence in Ferrari’s recent learnings, believing they have gained the upper hand in the race for second place in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship. 

Ferrari’s impressive showing at the Japanese Grand Prix saw them reduce Mercedes’ lead to just 20 points.

Leclerc himself enjoyed a relatively uneventful race, securing fourth place and crossing the finish line six seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. 

Carlos Sainz, on the other hand, narrowly missed out on fifth place after a late pit stop dropped him behind both Mercedes drivers.

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Ferrari’s strong performance extends beyond Japan, as they have consistently outscored Mercedes in recent races, including Italy and Singapore. 

Leclerc hinted that these positive developments have positioned Ferrari well to challenge Mercedes for the coveted second place.

“They are strong, in the race they were on it,” Leclerc noted. 

“They put us under pressure. 

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“They split their cars; that was an interesting strategy. 

“They are strong in the race, in qualifying they are a bit more inconsistent. 

“It will be a close fight because we are more inconsistent in the race, they are more inconsistent in qualifying.

“But I have a feeling inside of me that we’ve learned things in the past weekends that will give us the upper hand.”

Team boss Frederic Vasseur acknowledged Ferrari’s focus on Mercedes during the Japanese Grand Prix, recognising the importance of the ongoing battle for second place. 

Vasseur mentioned, “We were a couple of hundredths behind McLaren in quali. 

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“They were faster this weekend. 

“We had to focus on Mercedes today. 

“We took a step forwards. This will be the fight until the end.”