Charles Leclerc warns Lewis Hamilton ahead of 2023 Qatar GP

Ferrari trail Mercedes by 20 points with six races remaining, in the fight for second in the Constructors' Championship.

Charles Leclerc heads to the upcoming Qatar Grand Prix confident that Ferrari have the “upper hand” over Mercedes, in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

Following Aston Martin’s recent downfall and Ferrari’s significant progress, it’s between Mercedes and the Maranello-based team for second in the standings.

Red Bull, of course, secured back-to-back Constructors’ Championships recently at the Japanese Grand Prix, courtesy of reigning World Champion Max Verstappen’s 13th win of the season.

Ferrari currently trail Mercedes by 20 points with six races remaining; however, based on current form, the Italians are arguably favourites to snatch the position.

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The famous side have been brilliant in recent rounds, mostly due to having finally unlocked the SF-23’s potential.

Recent upgrades have brought the team’s 2023 car to life, resulting in Carlos Sainz recently winning the Singapore Grand Prix.

In doing so, he became the first non-Red Bull driver to claim a race victory this season, something the Spaniard and the outfit are very proud of.

Since the Italian Grand Prix where Sainz claimed pole position, Ferrari have just looked like a much stronger outfit, with confidence being at an all-time high for this year.

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They’ve been consistently quick over one-lap in recent rounds which has often given them track position over Mercedes, leaving the Silver Arrows with significant work to do.

Race pace has tended to be Mercedes’ strength and Ferrari’s weakness, although the Italians have improved their long-run pace.

Whilst it’s arguably still not as good as the Brackley-based team’s, it’s proven to be enough to hold their position in Italy, Singapore and Japan.

As a result, Leclerc believes that with what Ferrari have learnt about Mercedes in recent races, it’s the Italians with the “upper hand” in the fight for P2.

“Mercedes are strong, especially in the races. In Japan, they put us under a bit of pressure at the end by splitting the cars,” Leclerc said, as quoted by Sky Sports F1.

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“In qualifying, it’s a bit more inconsistent, so it’s going to be a very close fight.

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

“But, I have a feeling inside me that we have learned a few things in the last weekend that will hopefully give us the upper hand for the rest of the season.”